US patent and trademark office opens in Denver

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Photo: U.S. patent officeThe new United States Patent and Trademark Office that opens in Denver today will employ more than 100 workers to evaluate and make decisions on patent applications. As many as 20 judges will also handle appeals of those decisions.

Hopefully, they'll be able to relieve what's considered to be a large backlog of pending applications.

“It’s not shocking to wait four to five years for a patent to be issued,” says Bernard Chao, an assistant professor at the Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver. “The tech world is not happy about it."

The reason for that is because technology is constantly evolving and delays in government approval can outlive the usefulness of the invention.

Denver is one of four regional patent offices to open -- among the first locations outside the Washington D.C. area. The others are in Detroit, Dallas and San Jose, California. The new offices are part of an effort to reduce a significant backlog in patent applications.

The office is projected to contribute more than $400 million to the local economy over the next five years.