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Senate Passes Stabenow Measure to Name Detroit Patent Office for Michigan Inventor Elijah McCoy

New Satellite Patent Office, Which Stabenow Helped Create, is First-in-the-Nation Outside of Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, Mar 8, 2011

WASHINGTON- As Detroit prepares to become the new home of the first satellite office of the U.S Patent and Trademark office outside Washington, D.C., Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) offered an amendment to name the new office for Elijah McCoy, an African-American inventor from Michigan. The Senate passed Senator Stabenow's amendment unanimously.

The first-of-its-kind regional office will help speed the processing of patent applications, helping Michigan companies and inventors market their innovations. Senator Stabenow was a leader in the effort to create the new patent office, which is scheduled to open later in the year.

"With Michigan being home to many innovative companies and research partnerships, such as the University Research Corridor, it makes perfect sense for the U.S. Patent Office to open its first satellite facility in the nation in Detroit. Not only does this create jobs, but it also speeds up the patent process for our entrepreneurs. Our state is third in the nation in clean energy patents, and it is also home to groundbreaking research in areas such as agriculture, batteries, and autos," said Senator Stabenow. "Naming our new patent office after, Elijah McCoy, one of the greatest inventors that this country has ever known, honors Michigan's history of ingenuity and the promise of continued global innovation."

Elijah McCoy, who was the son of former slaves, is one of the most prolific inventors in U.S. history. He secured more than 50 patents throughout his lifetime, but is best known for his inventions that revolutionized how our heavy-duty machinery, including locomotives, function today. Elijah invented the automatic lubricator in July of 1872. While many others tried to replicate his incredibly effective invention, they were largely unsuccessful. A machine was not considered complete unless it had "McCoy" parts. People seeking top-quality products would ask, "is it the real McCoy?" Today, the term "the real McCoy" is used to indicate perfection.


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