Front Range

Intellectual Property

Denver becomes home to one of just four U.S. Department of Commerce satellite patent offices.

June 2014

—Illustration by Harry Campbell

There is perhaps no stronger symbol of innovation in this country than the patent. Two years ago, the U.S. Department of Commerce said it wanted to “help American businesses innovate” by opening four satellite patent offices beyond the boundaries of Washington, D.C. This month, one of them debuts in the Byron G. Rogers Federal Building in downtown Denver. (Dallas, Detroit, and San Jose snagged the others.) The office will be more than just a symbol, though. Officials say it will infuse the local economy with $400 million during the next five years and ease the application process for Coloradans, who have patented everything from dog toys to snowboard designs. “This is a huge win for our state and proves what all of us who live here already know,” says U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, who helped lead the bipartisan push to land the office. “Colorado is a powerful magnet for inventors, entrepreneurs, and risk-takers who are driving innovation and helping to solidify our state as a leader of the 21st-century economy.”