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California cities fare well in study on 'patent clusters'

On Friday, the Brookings Institution released an interesting study looking at which cities generate the most patents. We are happy to report that one California metropolitan area did quite well.

It wasn't Los Angeles or San Francisco. Rather, it was the San Jose-Santa Clara -Sunnyvale metropolitan area, which is better known as Silicon Valley. Home to companies like Google and Facebook, it's no surprise that this metropolitan area topped the list.

The next four cities on the Top Five are probably ones you would not have guessed:

  • Burlington-South Burlington, Vermont
  • Rochester, Minnesota
  • Corvallis, Oregon
  • Boulder, Colorado

Burlington, Rochester and Corvallis all have large IBM presences, meaning there are plenty of engineers in those cities seeking to patent their inventions.

Rochester is also home to the Mayo Clinic, one of the best medical systems in the country, and Corvallis, Burlington and Boulder all host large universities, which invest heavily in research and development.

All in all, 64 percent of patents come from 20 U.S. cities, which altogether hold about 34 percent of the U.S. population. Researchers and social analysts call these cities "patent clusters" for the high number of patent applications their inhabitants generate.

Source: The New York Times, "Patent Producers Clustered in Only a Few Cities," Steve Lohr, Feb. 1, 2013

  • In our Los Angeles office, we often assist clients who are seeking to protect the fruits of their labor via a patent, trademark or copyright. If this is something you are interested in doing, too, we invite you to learn more about our law firm and the intellectual property system in general by visiting our Intellectual Property page.

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