Brigid Quinn or Maria V. Hernandez
In calendar year 1998, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) granted a record 163,209 patents, including 147,521 utility, 14,767 design, 561 plant, and 298 reissue patents, and 62 statutory invention registrations. This is an increase of 31.5 percent over the 124,146 patents granted in 1997. The 147,521 utility patents (patents for inventions) in 1998 represent a 31.7 percent increase over the total for 1997 (111,983).
U.S. residents received 55.6 percent of all patents, down slightly from 56.3 percent in 1997. California residents claimed nearly 20 percent of all patents (19.7 percent, 17,831 patents) granted to U.S. residents, followed by New York (7.8 percent, 7,114 patents), Texas (6.6 percent, 5,979 patents), Illinois (4.8 percent, 4,366 patents), and New Jersey (4.6 percent, 4,206 patents). "American creativity and enterprise are boundless, and continue to fuel this nation's strong economy," said Commerce Secretary William Daley.
There were 20,765 patents granted to U.S. independent inventors during 1998, an increase of 27.5 percent over the 1997 count of 16,285. Q. Todd Dickinson, acting commissioner of patents and trademarks, noted that "The U.S. patent system has stimulated innovation and scientific advancement for over 200 years, establishing the United States as the technological leader among nations."