Eric Whitaker, senior vice president and chief legal officer, SanDisk, discuss the opening of the first USPTO office in Silicon Valley at SanDisk's world headquarters in Milpitas, Calif., on Tuesday, ... more 
Eric Whitaker, senior vice president and chief legal officer, SanDisk, discuss the opening of the first USPTO office in Silicon Valley at SanDisk's world headquarters in Milpitas, Calif., on Tuesday, April 9, 2013. SanDisk hosted Michelle Lee, the first USPTO Silicon Valley office director, and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group to discuss the importance of having a patent office in an area that is considered the heart of technology innovation.  The innovation captured by intellectual property helped SanDisk become the company it is today with a patent portfolio consistently ranked as one of the top ten in the world. (Tony Avelar / AP Images for SanDisk Corporation) less 
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Associated Press
Tue, Apr 9, 2013 10:45 PM EDT