Update 4:47 p.m.
Michigan Radio's Sarah Hulett reminded me that this office was originally supposed to open last year, but plans were postponed due to budget issues.
You can hear a story that Sarah produced for Marketplace last January about the need for the new patent office. Hulett reported on the huge backlog on patent applications:
David Kappos is the director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and his assessment of how long it takes to grant a patent is pretty blunt.
"In a word, it's too long," said Kappos.
Kappos says on average, it takes about two years just to get someone to read your application, then another year after that to hear whether you've been granted a patent.
At the time, Hulett reported that "more than 700,000 applications [were] waiting to be processed," and that the Detroit office was part of the plan to clear the logjam.
The first U.S. Patent and Trademark Office outside of Washington D.C. will open this July in Detroit.