Denver Business Journal: Denver, Boulder hotbeds of patent activity


Feb 1, 2013

Report: Denver, Boulder hotbeds of patent activity Wayne Hicks

The Denver and Boulder metro areas are home to some of the most inventive minds in the country, according to a report released Friday by the Brookings Institution.

The report, “Patenting Prosperity: Invention and Economic Performance in the United States and its Metropolitan Areas,” studied patents issued between 1980 and 2012 to reveal hubs of innovation across the country. The report found a correlation between a metro area’s economy and the number of patents issued. The Brookings Institution said the most innovative areas tend to have the strongest economies.

Of the 358 metro areas included in the report, the Denver area ranked No. 29 for the average number of patents issued between 2007 and 2011. The Denver area, which includes Aurora and Broomfield, was home to inventors who received an average of 775 patents during that five-year span.

Boulder was No. 33, with 666 patents.

The Brookings Institution report parsed the data in many different ways. In one ranking, Colorado was No. 14 for the number of patents issued last year to inventors living the state. Those 6,700 patents accounted for 1.9 percent of all U.S. patents granted in 2012.

The report also included four other metro areas in Colorado. Fort Collins was No. 64 on the ranking of patents issued from 2007 to 2011, while Colorado Springs was No. 85, Greeley No. 111 and Pueblo No. 269.

Of the six metro areas in Colorado, Boulder and Denver had the highest number of patents issued in 2012 than in any year since 1980. Inventors in Boulder were granted 794 patents, while those in the Denver area were issued 1,071.

Patent activity was highest for Colorado Springs in 2003 and 2006 saw the highest number of patents issued to inventors in both Fort Collins and Greeley.

The Brookings Institution website contains an interactive feature that shows more details about patent activity in each metro area.

L. Wayne Hicks is Social Media Engagement Officer / Digital Producer of the Denver Business Journal, writes for the “Cultural Attache” blog, and compiles the daily “DBJ Morning Call” email. Phone: 303-803-9221.

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