Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

Geographical Patent Trends (Redux + 1 Year).

Posted in General Commentary by Jake Ward on May 24, 2007

An astute reader of AT! had pointed out that our previous post on Geographical Patent Trends used 2005 as an endpoint, but that 2005 appears to be somewhat of an abberration in terms of the overall number of patents issued in that year. 

Well, we have now readjusted some of our figures to examine trends from 2000 to 2006 instead (as the 2006 data appears to be more in line with the longterm trends for patents overall).  Again, these figures are admittedly non-scientific in nature, but we believe are “thought-provoking,” to say the least.

 Patent00-06aa

Interestingly, the figure appears fairly well balanced between states seeing an increase in patents granted and states seeing a decrease.  From this simple analysis, it appears that Washington, Oregon, and California (the Left Coast) had the largest percentage increase in patents granted over the six (6) year period analyzed.  In a notable fourth place was Kansas (the Sunflower State).  By way of contrast, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana (the South) apparently experienced the largest percentage decrease in patents granted over that time period.

 patent00-06a 

The top states for increases in patents granted, on a per capita basis, were substantially the same as the top states in the above percentage analysis.  Interestingly, however, were the states with the largest per capita decreases: namely, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.  Although a number of the bottom states have a relatively small population and therefore would be more greatly impacted on a per capita basis by a change in patents granted, we note that Pennsylvania (6th most populous state) was 3rd to last, having a drop of almost 7 patents granted per 100,000 residents in the six year period examined.

JW Note:  Some interesting figures, and obviously of debatable significance.  However, as general food-for-thought for commenting – What do these trends show, if anything?  Are Oregon, Washington, California, and Kansas doing anything different to foster innovation in their respective states?  What is Pennsylvania doing wrong, if anything?  Comment as you may!

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