The number of patents originating from the Capital Region, not counting those from technology giants GE and IBM, tied the record highest number during the first quarter of 2009, according to Albany-based intellectual law firm Hoffman Warnick and D’Alessandro, which produces a regional quarterly patent index.
The Hoffman Warnick Tech Valley Patent Index tracks patents approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The index breaks down patent approvals to the Capital Region and the larger Tech Valley Region with subtotals for patents not filed by General Electric and IBM.
There were 720 total patents approved from the Tech Valley region, up from 612 in the fourth quarter of 2008 and 222 more than the first quarter of 2008. Most of those patents originated with GE and IBM. Taking those companies out shows 275 patents approved from the rest of Tech Valley region, up only slightly from the fourth quarter of 2008 when there were 272 and 41 more than the first quarter of 2008.
According to the index the Capital Region without GE and IBM had 107 patents approved, equal to the highest number recorded by Hoffman Warnick in the second quarter of 2008 and part of a steady upward trend. There were 79 patents approved from the Capital Region in the fourth quarter of 2008 and 88 approved during the first quarter of 2008.
Index author Spencer Warnick said his firm has been compiling quarterly patent data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the last several years with an aim toward determining the productivity of research and development in Tech Valley.
He said numbers for the Capital Region reveal the effect of research centers like the UAlbany NanoCollege.
“It’s slowly going up. If you look at the yearly quarterly averages we were averaging 60 per quarter in 2005, 79 in 2006, 83 in 2007, last year it was 89 and here we are in the first quarter this year and it’s 107. Every year there’s more and more stuff coming from the Capital Region,” Warnick said. “It’s kind of an indicator. It doesn’t necessarily equal economic development but it’s a sign of the technological level of the populace. You’re getting more people especially at places like the [UAlbany NanoCollege] and they’re all doing stuff like this. They’re all technical, highly educated people.”
While patents from the Capital Region appear to be growing, national numbers show a slight decline.