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SMU Dedman School of Law plays key role in bringing satellite U.S. Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) to Dallas through alumni and faculty support

Late last year, whenwith SMU Dedman School of Law alumnae Lisa Evert ’87 (Hitchcock Evert LLP) was attending a Dallas Bar Association section officers’ meeting, colleague Max Ciccarelli (Thompson & Knight LLP), who was then the chair of the Dallas Bar’s Intellectual Property Section, mentioned that the U. S. Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) was soliciting recommendations for sites for satellite Patent Offices authorized under the America Invents Act.  Everyone at the meeting agreed that Dallas was a natural fit for a satellite office – a vibrant tech sector, two local law schools, several local engineering programs, central geographic location, reasonable cost of living – and immediately went to work on preparing their proposal to the USPTO.

Although the proposal in support of Dallas as the location was a group effort, Lisa Evert spearheaded the preparation of the proposal.  Marc Hubbard ’88, founding member of Hubbard Law, PLLC, WeiWei Jeang ‘93, a partner at Andrews Kurth, Hilda Galvan from Jones Day and David McCombs from Haynes and Boone were also instrumental in refining the proposal and rallying community support. 

With lots of terrific input from colleagues at other law firms, the Dallas Chamber, the IP Faculty at SMU Dedman School of Law, the Center for American and International Law and many other groups, they were able to put together a proposal that showed the USPTO all the advantages that Dallas had to offer. 

Their pitch was joined by letters of support from Mayor Mike Rawlings, local high-tech companies and individuals.  Now just five months later, Dallas has been chosen as one of three cities for a satellite Patent Office.  (The others are Denver, Colorado, and San Jose, California, with the first satellite office opening in Detroit, Michigan, last year.)

This is a very exciting opportunity for everyone in the Dallas area.  Not only is the satellite Patent Office going to impact patent attorneys and local tech companies, it will create jobs for people with engineering and science degrees, bring new residents into the local housing market, stimulate the travel and hospitality industries with lawyers and inventors coming down to the Patent Office, and open up new possibilities for non-tech positions that will support the Patent Office and its operations.  This is going to have wide-ranging effects on our community and our economy.
“I am very proud to have been a part of a fantastic team that rallied support for bringing a satellite Patent Office to Dallas,” said Evert, “ I am absolutely delighted that our hard work paid off.  I am so looking forward to watching the satellite Patent Office become a thriving part of Dallas’ landscape.”

Read full Dallas Morning News article (subscription may be required) here.