Those who have been calling for improvements to the U.S. patent system thought they might be seeing at least a glimpse of the beginning earlier this year. In January the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced it would be opening a satellite office in Detroit, Mich., sometime this spring. At the time, Crain's Detroit Business reported:
The new office would allow the USPTO to tap into the pool of unemployed, highly-skilled workers, such as automotive engineers, in the Detroit area.
The USPTO set up an email hotline to which those interested in learning more about available positions should write. Those who did would be provided with additional information regarding the application and interview process once it was available, the story said.
Now, however, the only thing those parties have heard is that the expansion office is on hold indefinitely. Budget constraints are to blame, according to Bloomberg. Plans for a program that would provide expedited review of certain types of patent applications have also been delayed. The USPTO budget for 2011 fell short of the $2.3 billion the agency requested.