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KC Patent Activity Picks Up

September 17, 2013

by Jeff Pinkerton

It has been about a year since we looked at patent data for Kansas City. New data through 2011 shows increasing patent activity in the region, with 636 patents granted to Kansas City area companies and individuals — up from 545 in 2010.

Patents per Year

As we showed in the earlier blog post, patent activity is typically concentrated in relatively few metros, including San Jose, Austin and Raleigh. In 2011, the Kansas City region generated 3.1 patents for every 10,000 residents. This is modest relative to the aforementioned innovation hubs but it ranks fairly high among our peer metros.


Patents per Capita

Sprint and Sprint Spectrum accounted for nearly 300 of the region’s patents in 2011. Other local companies with the most patent activity include Garmin, Cerner, HNTB and Honeywell.

There is even more encouraging news. While 2012 data is not yet available for metro areas, data by state is available. Together, Missouri and Kansas saw patents increase by 25 percent between 2011 and 2012. It is a fair bet that the Kansas City metro will have a fair share of that increase.

In an economy that is becoming more and more dependent on innovation, Kansas City’s patent growth is certainly an encouraging development.

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