U.S. Commerce Secretary Speaks at SJSU

President Mohammad Qayoumi, Secretary Rebecca Blank, SVLG President and CEO Carl Guardino and Overland Storage President and CEO Eric Kelly ’80 Business Administration (Robert Bain photo).

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank came to San Jose State July 11 to formally announce plans to open a satellite U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Silicon Valley.

“This past winter, our Alexandria office had a special exhibit on the ground floor — 30 giant iPhones lined up side-by-side,” Blank said. “Each one featured one of the many patents that Steve Jobs received. As Steve said, ‘The ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do.’

“Today, those entrepreneurs, those innovators, and those dreamers – all of you – are the reason I’m so proud to say that the Commerce Department will soon put one of its first four satellite patent offices right here in Silicon Valley.”

In a panel discussion following the announcement, SJSU President Mohammad Qayoumi emphasized how entrepreneurialism has become an integral part of higher education, where students no longer go to “get a job” but to “create your own.”

Qayoumi added San Jose State could assist the patent and trademark office with professional development and an internship program, noting SJSU is well positioned to deliver curriculum in new ways given its location in the “cradle of innovation.”

Silicon Valley Leadership Group President and CEO Carl Guardino moderated the panel, which also featured Secretary Blank, Overland Storage President and CEO Eric Kelly ’80 Business Administration, and OSIsoft LLC Founder and CEO Patrick Kennedy.

Keeping with the innovation theme, Secretary Blank’s next stop was just a few blocks from campus at the TechShop, a work space providing inventors all the tools they need to get started. The shop’s tagline? “Build Your Dreams Here.”

View Secretary Blank’s prepared remarks.