Thinking of moving to Dallas? You’re not alone. According to the Brookings Institute, Dallas was the No. 1 destination for relocation in the United States in 2017. That’s thanks in part to the city’s numerous career opportunities: In the same year, Dallas saw the second highest rate of job growth nationwide.
Still, relocating to a new city is a big move. You probably have lots of burning questions — and not just about our gastronomical and cultural offerings! If you’re taking the next step in your legal career, you’re probably also wondering whether Dallas is right place to practice IP law.
We’re a little biased, but we say yes! Dallas is home to a vibrant IP community, with unparalleled opportunities to connect with some of today’s brightest minds in tech innovation.
1. EAST TEXAS: A HOTBED OF PATENT LITIGATION
For at least the past 15 years, the Eastern District of Texas has been the center of the universe for patent litigation — and Dallas is the closest city to the East Texas patent litigation hotbed.
For example, in the first quarter of 2017 alone, one-third of all patent cases filed nationwide were in the Eastern District of Texas.
Even the Supreme Court’s recent decision in TC Heartland v. Kraft Food Brands Group, which restricts where companies may file patent cases, hasn’t significantly changed the status quo: East Texas is still ranked second among the nation’s popular places to pursue patent litigation today.
Because of this, almost every national patent practice has established a presence in the Dallas area over the last several years. And in parallel, our local talent and expertise has steadily grown to national prominence as well.
2. POWERFUL CORPORATE COMMUNITY
Tons of Fortune 500 corporations are either headquartered or have major offices in Dallas:
- 17 Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in Dallas
- Notable examples: AT&T, Southwest Airlines, Texas Instruments
- Countless others have major offices in Dallas
- Notable examples: Samsung, Futurewei, BlackBerry, SanDisk, Microsoft, Lockheed Martin, Lennox, Toyota, Xerox
This means you’ll have ample opportunities to tap into a sophisticated business community — including a network of savvy IP professionals. Which brings us to our next point…
3. STRONG IP COMMUNITY
In Dallas, we’re lucky to have a strong local network of friendly IP professionals. And there are lots of ways to get involved:
- The IP section of the Dallas Bar Association is very active, and is a great way to meet folks and share valuable resources. In fact, I’ve served on a committee there for the past three years! We host lots of well-attended social and educational events for IP professionals throughout the year.
- The Barbara M.G. Lynn Inn of Court is also strong and has won several national awards. I’m currently a member (and proudly, was a member in its first year of existence!), and I’ve always found our local IP Inn of Court to be an extremely valuable community.
The professional community in Dallas is much more diverse than what some might assume from stereotypes. You’ll quickly find yourself at home among like-minded folks!
4. HOME TO A USPTO SATELLITE OFFICE
Dallas is one of just five cities in the world that has a USPTO location. (The others are in Washington, D.C.; Denver; Detroit; and San Jose.)
With the USPTO office located conveniently downtown, you’ll enjoy unique opportunities to train locally, as well as easy access to examiners and Patent Trial and Appeal Board judges.
The Texas Regional office of the USPTO has been a major asset to the Dallas innovation ecosystem. They hold hundreds of IP education and outreach events each year.
One of the reasons the USPTO chose Dallas for its regional office was for the local tech industry talent. And we now have more and more former U.S. patent examiners working at law firms in Dallas, which provides a unique local expertise that’s hard to find in most other cities.
5. LOWER COST OF DOING BUSINESS
It almost goes without saying: Local firms in Dallas have lower operating costs than law firms in just about any other major U.S. city, and lawyers in Dallas have a lower cost of living. The cost of doing business in Dallas is seven percent lower than the national average — which is, incidentally, also lower than in most other major U.S. cities!
Lower operating costs and lower costs of living are among the many reasons Dallas attracts top talent from across the country: We can charge our clients less and still have healthy margins, enabling us to stay competitive in the national market.
GET TO KNOW SOME MEMBERS OF DALLAS’S IP COMMUNITY
In the Lone Star State, you’ll be able to easily immerse yourself in some of the nation’s strongest business and legal communities. Looking to get deeper insights into the real people who live and work in the city?
Our team at Henry Patent Law Firm is eager to hear from you — head on over to our team page now to put faces to the names!
Michael K. Henry, Ph.D.
Michael K. Henry, Ph.D., is a principal and the firm’s founding member. He specializes in creating comprehensive, growth-oriented IP strategies for early-stage tech companies.