City Signs Patent Office Lease

In unanimous vote Tuesday, the City Council OK'd a lease agreement with the US Patent and Trademark Office.

The contract dedicates 35,194 square feet of City Hall to the federal agency, which is expected to open next year. Though it will cover $6 million in design costs, the new tenant will force the city to relocate some of its departments. Most of the space, however, has sat vacant since City Hall opened in 2005. The city expects to pay $4.7 million for relocation, but will recover that with the first five years of lease payments from the patent office.

City officials celebrated the lease agreement as a big win, a chance to add substance to its claim of being the "Capital of Silicon Valley."

“This partnership is a win-win for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the City of San Jose,” Mayor Chuck Reed said in a statement. “But even more important is it’s a win for Silicon Valley’s leading technology companies and early-stage entrepreneurs, who generate more patents than any other region in the country. It’s a win for our nation, as these innovations drive the U.S. economy and create new jobs.”

The trademark office plans to employ 80 patent examiners 20 administrative judges and 110 other workers once it moves to San Jose from its temporary office in Menlo Park.


  1. Reed can try and spin this all he wants, but this is just another in a long line of bad decisions for the Mayor . Lets Displace city workers , to move in the Patent office , lets bill the Residents of San Jose almost $5 million Dollars. even though 95% of all patents are done online

    • Your ill-advised argument assumes that in Arlington, VA one can apply for a patent in person and actually interact with the patent office as the application undergoes examination. The satellite office is a win-win. It will house badly needed examiners in the Pacific time zone as well as more judges for the appeal’s board. You wouldn’t begin to understand how having more examiners—closer to home—and more PTAB judges at our disposal will help expedite and make more efficient the innovation process here in the Bay Area thus continuing to cut down on the backlog currently at the USPTO. You just come online to whine and bemoan Mayor Reed at every chance you can.

  2. Let’s add this city management’s list of non-accomplishments. Makes no sense. We spend 480 mil, or whatever is was, then give away the executive wing with the promise that in five years time will recoup what it cost us to move out of it? Who knows what other related expenses we’ll have to pay as well.

    If the goal is to get more bodies downtown, then by this logic let’s just give out free office space to anybody. If the idea is that having this federal office downtown makes us more the center of anything, then council needs to have its head checked.

  3. When the ballot measure for the Taj Gonzal was voted on, the taxpayers were promised that it would save money by putting all city employees in one location, thus saving money on rented space. Al Ruffo filed a lawsuit, then caved in and dropped it. By the time R2D2 was finished, the city had already outgrown the space, so it still rents space all over the place. The taxpayers were lied to.

    When the Redvelopment Agencies were dissolved by Governor MoonbeamII and the space vacated, all the city workers operating out of rented space should have been consolidated into the City Hall, as was promised to the taxpayers in the ballot statements for the bond measure to build it. Another broken promise. Instead, Chuck and the Council left it vacant until they could find a tenant they could give a $5 million rent subsidy to. INCREDIBLE!

    The patent office is a federal agency. Why is it in SJ City Hall, especially with a $5million rent subsidy?

    This June and this November, vote out all incumbents, even if they are running for a different public trough to feed out of.

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