Magazine article Economic Trends

Regional Patenting Activity

Magazine article Economic Trends

Regional Patenting Activity

Article excerpt

03.08.07

In our Annual Report of last year, we reported evidence that innovation is extremely important for state economic development and that patenting activity can help explain differences in state per capita incomes. Undoubtedly, patenting activity is important for the economic development of smaller areas as well. Here we examine patenting activity in the Fourth District and its metropolitan areas. (Note that a patent's origin is based on the inventor's residence, not the company's location.)

[GRAPHICS OMITTED]

Patenting in the Fourth District

Over the past 30 years, patenting activity in the Fourth District has remained fairly steady; only 9 percent more patents were issued in 2003 than in 1975. By contrast, in the United States as a whole, 90 percent more utility patents were issued in 2003 than in 1975.

The greater growth in U.S. patenting activity is partly explained, however, by higher population growth. If we look at the number of patents issued on a per capita basis, we see that the District no longer maintains the edge in per capita patent production that it had in 1975, but that the region still produces about as many patents per million people as the United States as a whole. From 1975 to 2003, per capita patents in the region grew 5 percent, to 286 parents per million people, compared to 299 patents per million people for the nation.

In the last five years, the District has produced over 3,000 patents, which can be used in three industries: professional and scientific instruments, rubber and miscellaneous plastics products, and fabricated metal products. The District also produces a large number of patents that have applications in industrial machinery and electronic components.

The industries for which the District produces the most patents are not necessarily those in which the District specializes. Over the past five years, the District has produced over one-fifth of all U.S. patents relating to railroad equipment, with Delphi, Westinghouse Air Brake, and General Electric leading the charge. The District also produces a high concentration of patents that can be used for household products (Proctor and Gamble, Steris), paints and allied products (Goodyear, Bridgestone) and metals (GE, Alcoa).

Patenting in District MSAs

Patenting activity at the metropolitan level varied considerably. Columbus produces fewer patents per million people than does the United States as a whole. However, Cincinnati produces almost twice as many patents per million people than the United States. In general, per capita patenting activity has been trending upward in the four District MSAs since the early 1980s.

Similar to the District, the four largest MSAs all have a large share of patents that can be used in the professional and scientific instruments industry. Many patents are also produced for use in the fabricated metals and rubber products industries. Pittsburgh produces a considerable share (7.8 percent) of its patents for use in the electronics and communications equipment industry.

[GRAPHIC OMITTED]

Top Patenting Industries, 1999-2003
                                                             Total
                                                             district
Description                                                  patents

Professional and scientific instruments (38, except 3825)    3,813
Rubber and miscellaneous plastics products (30)              3,104
Fabricated metal products (34, except 3461, 3463, and 348    3,041
General industrial machinery and equipment (356)             2,337
Electronic components and accessories and communica-         2,016
tions equipment (366, 367)

Note: Numbers in parentheses are SIC codes for the industry. … 
Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.