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November 27, 2001

Rochester led the nation in patents in the 1990s

The Rochester region led the nation in producing patents in the 1990s, according to analysis by the on-line newsletter Demographics Daily.

A six-county region that includes Rochester produced 1,233.9 patents per 100,000 residents from 1990-99, well ahead of Boise, Idaho (1,002.8), the newsletter said in a Nov. 26 report. The ratio for the entire nation in the 1990s was 228 patents per 100,000 residents, the report added.

The newsletter analyzed patent production in all 276 metropolitan areas in the United States.

Demographics Daily collected 10 years of patent data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, covering 1990 through 1999, the last year for which data are available. The study focused on utility patents, which prohibit others from copying the way that physical inventions work or are used.

Each metropolitan region's number of utility patents was compared to the area's average population during the 1990s.

Inventors in the Rochester area were granted 13,330 utility patents during the 1990s.

The report noted that Eastman Kodak Co., Bausch & Lomb Inc., and Xerox, three Rochester-based high-tech manufacturers, received 5,918 utility patents during the final five years of the study period. These companies collectively accounted for 81 percent of Rochester's 7,273 patents from 1995 through 1999.

The report also noted that the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island region recorded the highest number of patents for the 1990s with 59,253.