Baker, Ahles & Kaskovich

Regional patent office to open in Dallas on Monday

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will open a regional office in Dallas to serve Texas and several other states.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will open a regional office in Dallas to serve Texas and several other states. AP

Tech startups are booming in Dallas-Fort Worth, and the region will get another boost Monday when the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office opens a Texas Regional Office in Dallas.

The office, to be located in the Terminal Annex Federal Building on the southern edge of Dealey Plaza, will create about 100 jobs. Patent examiners and Patent Trial and Appeal Board judges will help reduce the backlog of patent applications in Washington.

To mark the occasion and provide information for Fort Worth businesses, top officials from the Patent and Trademark Office will be at TECH Fort Worth on Tuesday from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Speakers will include Russell Slifer, deputy director of the patent office; Drew Hirshfeld, commissioner for patents; U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey, D- Fort Worth; and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. TECH Fort Worth is housed at the Guinn Entrepreneurial Complex, 1120 South Freeway.

The regional office will also offer outreach services to inventors, entrepreneurs, startups and researchers who live in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, New Mexico and Tennessee. Other regional offices have opened in Detroit, Denver and San Jose, Calif.

Hayden Blackburn, director of IDEA Works, a multi-industry business incubator in Fort Worth, said the new patent office will provide an important physical resource for local inventors and entrepreneurs who are trying to navigate a complicated process. Getting a patent approved can take several months or several years, depending on the complexity of the application.

“As much as you can search online, to know that there’s a place where you can go to connect with staff and get question answered will be very important,” he said.

The selection of Dallas for a regional office also recognizes “the strength of the region” for entrepreneurs, Blackburn said. Among the criteria used in selecting Dallas for a regional office, the government considered the numbers of patent attorneys and applications in the region, access to universities and the percentage of engineers in the workforce.

Hogan preparing to introduce more clubs

More new Hogan golf clubs are in the works.

Fort Worth-based Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Co. is developing a prototype for its first hybrids and is planning to introduce a new set of irons next year, Terry Koehler, the company’s chief executive officer, told a Rotary Club luncheon on Friday.

Koehler, an industry veteran from Victoria, reconstituted the Ben Hogan golf club business last year after gaining rights to the Hogan name from Perry Ellis International, which had acquired the brand.

The company introduced its first set of irons, the Fort Worth 15, at the annual PGA Merchandise Show in January, and has been pushing distribution ever since, primarily at pro shops. Koehler said Hogan now has its clubs at about 400 pro shops nationwide, plus PGA Tour Superstores and some Edwin Watts retail locations.

The irons, high-performance blades crafted in the Hogan tradition using modern technologies, were introduced in a novel system, numbered by loft instead of the traditional 2-9. Golfers select their set, with help from a pro, choosing their set from 44 lofted clubs, including 16 wedges.

The new irons will take the same approach but sport a more mainstream design to appeal to a wider array of golfers. More details on the new products are expected to be released later this month.

AT&T adding jobs in North Texas

AT&T is hiring for 271 job openings in Dallas-Fort Worth and about 850 statewide.

The positions include technicians to help with U-verse installation, customer service representatives for its call centers and retail store openings. The company said it is hiring immediately.

AT&T will host a hiring event starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, at the Westin Dallas Park Central Hotel, 12720 Merit Drive.

Job applicants can apply online at for all openings. The openings are for full- and part-time positions.

Dallas-based AT&T said it has invested $6.8 billion in its Texas wireless and wireline networks from 2012 to 2014. The company employs more than 37,000 workers in Texas.

DFW discounts parking for Thanksgiving

Dallas/Fort Worth Airport will give some drivers a break on parking during Thanksgiving week.

The airport announced last week that it will charge only $10 a day for terminal parking if you arrive Nov. 22 or Nov. 23 for the length of your parking stay.

DFW usually charges $22 a day for terminal parking.

Andrea Ahles: 817-390-7631, @Sky_Talk

Sandra Baker: 817-390-7727, @SandraBakerFWST

Steve Kaskovich: 817-390-7773, @stevekasko