Information Products Division
Technology Assessment and Forecast (TAF) Branch

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

This report displays the technology classes in which patents originating from metropolitan or non-metropolitan areas of the United States were granted. Patent counts are given for the number of grants classified in each technology class. A total count of patents in all classes is given at the end of the report.

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. 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.

Classes of technology--Classes are major divisions of technology, as defined in the U.S. Patent Classification System (USPCS). The USPCS contains approximately 440 classes that are further divided into 140,000 subclasses. Copies of each patent are placed (classified) in those classes/subclasses that have been identified as pertinent to the information disclosed in the patent. One, and only one, of the classes/subclasses is designated as the PRIMARY (or ORIGINAL) classification, and the remainder (if any) are designated as CROSS_REFERENCE classifications. Distributions of patents based on primary classification will ensure that each patent is counted only once and that the count of patents in all classes of technology will equal the sum of the count of patents granted in each class. However, if multiple technologies are disclosed in a patent, the patent will only be counted in the technology class corresponding to the PRIMARY classification for that patent.

This report presents the number of patents receiving PRIMARY classification in each technology class that were awarded to inventors from the selected metropolitan (or non-metropolitan) area.

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 locations 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 and columns of data which do not sum exactly due to rounding. For more information on how patents are associated with metropolitan areas, refer to 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/

[Top] [Regional Listing] [TAF Home Page] [USPTO Home Page]

Last modified 1 June 2000