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Colorado’s veterans express support for patent office

Colorado's veterans community, with the help of Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, sent a letter to Azam Khan, deputy chief of staff at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), supporting Colorado as the location of a new satellite patent office.

"We believe Colorado's large veterans population, the state's leadership on coordinating community resources to help transition veterans to civilian employment, and ample training resources make it an ideal location for a satellite office that will help the USPTO meet its goal of doubling the percentage of veteran hires for the patent examiner corps," the organizations wrote in the letter.

"Colorado's strong veterans community is yet another element that makes Colorado a great location for a new satellite patent office," said Bennet. "The USPTO has made a commendable commitment to hiring our returning troops and veterans here at home. With our large veteran population, top-notch training institutions and excellent transitional services, Colorado is perfectly positioned to provide the veteran workforce the USPTO is looking for."

The USPTO plans to hire more than 1,500 patent examiners in fiscal year 2012 and has set a target of 10 percent of these hires to be filled by veterans, double the current percentage.

Bennet helped to organize the veterans groups in support of a new satellite patent office in Colorado. Bennet's staff joined Colorado business leaders earlier this year to hand-deliver a package of support from Coloradans urging the USPTO to select Colorado as the location for a new satellite patent office.

Last year, he secured an amendment, cosponsored by Colorado U.S. Senator Mark Udall, in the patent reform law that empowers the USPTO to establish three new satellite patent offices across the country over the next three years. Over the past year, Bennet and the Colorado Delegation have sent letters to President Obama and USPTO Director David Kappos encouraging them to consider Colorado for a job-creating satellite office.

Full text of the letter, as well as the signers, is included below.

Dear Mr. Khan:

We are writing in support of Colorado's recent bid for the placement of a new satellite U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in Denver, Colorado.  We believe Colorado's large veterans population, the state's leadership on coordinating community resources to help transition veterans to civilian employment, and ample training resources make it an ideal location for a satellite office that will help the USPTO meet its goal of doubling the percentage of veteran hires for the patent examiner corps.  

Colorado is a great place to hire veterans.  In addition to the 424,228 veterans currently living in the state, Colorado is home to a large U.S. Army installation in Ft. Carson, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, the U.S. Northern Command, three U.S. Air Force Bases, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and Colorado National Guard installations.  Upon leaving the military, many service members choose to stay in Colorado, a decision that is made easier when they find solid employment opportunities. 

Colorado is a national leader in coordinating community resources to place veterans in the work- force.  For instance, the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments, a voluntary association of 16 municipal and county governments, is working to offer a Whole Community approach to meet the needs of service members, veterans, and their families.  This groundbreaking coordination provides a new approach to building a smooth transition and support network for veterans transitioning from active duty service to the civilian workforce.  And Colorado's leadership in this area will ensure that the qualified veterans interested in working in the Patent Office find their way to the jobs that are available.

Moreover, Colorado has strong university programs to further the educational goals of the USPTO and its examiners.  The graduate engineering programs at the University of Colorado, Colorado State University, University of Denver, and the Colorado School of Mines offer flexible education options through their distance learning programs.  These programs will be useful to veterans who become patent examiners interested in further developing their expertise in engineering fields.  In addition, the law schools at the University of Colorado and the University of Denver offer numerous intellectual property courses.  As Dean Phil Weiser of the University of Colorado Law School indicated in a letter of support for the Denver USPTO satellite office, the law school would be "delighted" to, wherever possible, open up such courses-or individual lectures-to USPTO employees. 

We commend the USPTO's plans to more than double the percentage of veteran hires for its patent examiner corps.  As Director Kappos has recognized, the USPTO will benefit from the leadership skills and dedication to public service of those who have served our country in uniform and we commend the USPTO's commitment to hiring veterans.  Our state, with its large concentration of veterans and successful public-private partnerships in the Front Range, is a natural location for a USPTO satellite office that will help you achieve that goal.

Sincerely,

United Veterans Committee*

American Legion - Department of Colorado         

Paralyzed Veterans of America - Mountain States Chapter

Veterans of Foreign Wars - Department of Colorado Post1

National Guard Association of Colorado

Denver Options

Home Front Cares                                   

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company   

Project Sanctuary

Sturm College of Law Veterans Association - University of Denver

Student Veterans of America - University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

Student Veterans Organization - Colorado State University

Student Veterans Organization - Colorado Technical University

Student Veterans Organization - University of Colorado Boulder

Student Veterans Organization - University of Colorado Denver

* The United Veterans Committee of Colorado (UVC) is a non-profit coalition of 45 chartered and federally recognized veterans service organizations and affiliates established in 1972.  The following organizations are voting members of the UVC:

Air Force Association

Air Force Sergeants Association

American Ex-POWs

American GI Forum

American Legion

American Merchant Marine Veterans - Colorado

Armed Forces Top Enlisted Association

Association of US Army

Associated Veterans of Colorado

Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Association

Chosin Few

Colorado County VSO Association

Colorado POW/MIA

Combat Infantryman's Association

Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association

Denver-Fitzsimons National Sojourners

Disabled American Veterans

E-9ers Association

Education Foundation

Fleet Reserve Association

Gold Star Wives of America

Jewish War Veterans

Korean War Veterans

Marine Corps League

Military Order of the Purple Heart

Military Officers of America Association

National Association for Uniformed Services

National Guard Association - Colorado

National Association of Black Veterans

Navy League

Navy Waves of Colorado

Non-Commissioned Officers Association

Pearl Harbor Survivors Association

Paralyzed Veterans Association - Mountain States

Rocky Mountain USO at Denver International Airport

Society of Military Widows

Special Forces Association

The Retired Enlisted Association

United Spinal Association

Veteran Widows Intl. Network

Veterans of Foreign Wars

Veterans of WWI

Vietnam Veterans of America

Womens Army Corps Veterans Association

Womens Marines Association