The U.S. Patent Office’s Texas Regional Office, scheduled to open in November 2015, is now open. The Texas office will serve the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.
Like some other USPTO offices, the Texas office offers applicants some incredible benefits that include workshops and opportunities for face-to-face meetings with patent examiners and other USPTO personnel. According to USPTO officials, the Texas office will also provide outreach services for inventors, entrepreneurs, startups, researchers and others to:
- Search existing patents and trademarks on designated workstations.
- Attend workshops, trainings, conferences and roundtables designed for various experience levels.
- Obtain information about the USPTO through walk-in services.
- Take public tours
- Use interview rooms for applicants to connect with patent examiners working at USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia and across the country.
- Gain remote access to Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) proceedings at USPTO headquarters and other regional offices. The office also has a hearing room to host PTAB proceedings.
Note, though, that new patent applications or correspondence related to patent prosecution may be submitted using EFS-Web, the USPTO’s Web-based patent application and document submission system. The USPTO cautions that, “in the event you do not use EFS-Web when filing new patent application(s) and correspondence relating to patent prosecution with the USPTO, these documents must be hand delivered to the USPTO in Alexandria, VA or mailed via the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to the USPTO at the address below to receive the date of deposit with the USPS:
- Commissioner for Patents, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450.”
The USPTO says that it wants to have 100 patent examiners and 20 administrative patent judges on site in Dallas within a year of the office’s opening.