Information Products Division
Technology Assessment and Forecast (TAF) Branch

Explanation of Data --
Patenting By Metropolitan or Non-metropolitan Area
Breakout By Organization

This report profiles utility patent activity in metropolitan or non-metropolitan areas of the United States. The owners of 5 or more patents granted to inventors from the selected area are displayed. Annual patent counts for the past 5 years are provided for each owner.

The metropolitan (or non-metropolitan) area associated with a patent is based on the residence of the inventor whose name appears first on the patent--not the location of the owner. For example, a report on the Pittsburgh, PA MSA includes patents with a first-named inventor who resided in the the Pittsburgh PA MSA, and counts are provided for organizations to which those patents were assigned. The first-named inventor and the owner of the patent are not necessarily located in the same metropolitan area. While all of the selected patents may have a first-named inventor from the Pittsburgh, PA MSA, the geographic location of the owner could be outside the Pittsburgh, PA MSA.

Saving your results.

Depending on your web browser, it may be possible to save a report in a file that can be opened by some word processing or spreadsheet application software. Consult your documentation for your web browser and application software.

Explanation of terms used.

Types of patents--Only utility patents are included in this report. Utility patents are patents for inventions, as opposed to design patents or plant patents.

Patent ownership--The rights to a patent may be assigned to an organization at the time of patent grant. Changes in patent ownership can occur after a patent has been issued, but those changes are not reflected in this report. If there were multiple owners at the time of patent grant, only the first-named owner is considered in this report.

Some patents are not assigned to an organization, or they are assigned to an individual; a count of these patents appears in the entry labeled ~Individually Owned Patent.

Generally, the names of organizations that appear in this report correspond to the names that appear on the printed patent. However, where possible, spelling variations and variations based on name changes have been merged into a single name (e.g., ESSO to EXXON). No attempt has been made to associate subsidiaries with parent companies. While every effort is made to accurately identify all organizational entities and report data by a single organizational name, achievement of a totally clean record is not expected, particulary in view of the many variations which may occur in organizational names.

Metropolitan areas--Metropolitan areas consist of Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA), Primary Metropolitan Statistical Areas (PMSA), or New England County Metropolitan Areas (NECMA), as defined by the Office of Management and Budget. In most states, MSA's and PMSA's consist of one or more entire counties. In New England, however, town boundaries--not county boundaries--define MSA or PMSA boundaries. While it is usually possible to determine the county of residence of an inventor from New England, frequently it is not possible to determine if the residence is in that portion of the county that is within a particular MSA or PMSA. For this reason, only NECMA's, which are based on county boundaries, are given for New England states in this report. For a complete list of metropolitan areas included in this report and their geographical components (counties, parishes, boroughs) refer to the linked page, Metropolitan Areas for Which Patent Counts are Available.

How patents are associated with metropolitan areas.

A patent is associated with a particular metropolitan area by matching the inventor address on the patent with a file that contains the county location for that address. Then, data for all counties within a single metropolitan area are merged.

Sometimes, it is not possible to determine exactly which county an inventor resides in, due to insufficient address information on the patent. While unassigned patents contain full street address for each inventor, patents owned by organizations only contain inventor city and state of residence. At times, the lack of complete address information makes it difficult to determine an inventor's county of residence, especially when the name of the inventor's town may occur in multiple location within a state, or when the boundaries of a single city or town span multiple counties.

Consequently, patent counts that appear in this report are "weighted" counts. If an inventor address is uniquely associated with one county, the patent is given a weight of '1'; if the address is associated with two counties, the patent is given a weight of '.5' for each county, and so on. Patent counts for a selected metropolitan (or non-metropolitan) area represent the sum of weights for each county in the selected area. About 88% of patents can be associated with a specific county and, therefore, have a weight of '1'. This weighted patent method being used to count patents may result in some rows of data which do not sum exactly due to rounding. For more information on how patents are associated with metropolitan areas, refer to the Technology Assessment and Forecast report, United States Patent Grants by State, Count, and Metropolitan Area.

TAF Contacts

Questions regarding these reports should be directed to:

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Information Products Division - TAF Branch
PK3- Suite 441
Washington, DC 20231

tel: (703) 306-2600
FAX: (703) 306-2737
email oeip@uspto.gov

address of TAF Internet pages : http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/ido/oeip/taf/tafp.html
ftp download of TAF reports from : ftp.uspto.gov/pub/taf/

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Last modified 1 June 2000