The stately portrait of Elijah J. McCoy—a Canadian-American engineer of African-American descent who invented lubrication systems for steam engines—stands proudly at the first regional office in the history of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

The Elijah J. McCoy Midwest Regional Office in Detroit was officially opened in July 2012 at the Stroh Building at 300 River Place. Four other regional USPTO offices have opened since, all with the goal of adding convenience and service for inventors, would-be inventors, and anyone involved in the exploding ecosystem of intellectual property. A Southeast Regional Office is in the works.

The Midwest Regional Office, exuding a Detroit flavor with its logos of Motown and professional sports teams, serves Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

Among its features is a PTAB hearing room. Collaboration spaces intended for public use include rooms that may be configured to suit events of all sizes and are equipped with whiteboards, easels, telephones, and A/V equipment.

The office’s public search room has two workstations with the same search tools that USPTO employees use when examining patent and trademark applications. Their access requirements and print capabilities are the same as those in the Public Search Facility at USPTO headquarters. The search room is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.

For a listing of October events at the Midwest Regional Office, go to