Oregon Patent Growth Skyrockets Over National Average for Past Two Decades
Kristen Leis, Business Development Manager, (503) 294-9343
The number of patents awarded to Oregon inventors has increased by approximately 500 percent over the last 20 years, nearly four times the national average, according to the newly released 2004 Oregon Patent Report. Oregon inventors were awarded 2,380 patents in 2004. The 2004 Oregon Patent Report may be found at www.stoel.com/patentreports
Compiled by Stoel Rives intellectual property attorneys, the 2004 Oregon Patent Report, reveals that electronics, information technologies and optical technologies account for 62 percent of Oregon patents, demonstrating a significant depth of technical capability and innovation by Oregon inventors in these high-tech sectors.
"The level of patent activity in Oregon shows how important innovation is to the economy in Oregon. It also is a positive indication of the direction our economy is moving," says Wally Van Valkenburg, Technology and Intellectual Property practice group leader at Stoel Rives LLP. "As a firm that assists many innovative companies in protecting their intellectual property, we are excited to be a part of this activity," he adds.
Oregon's Silicon Forest is fertile ground for new technology. To track patent growth rates, one need only review the numbers: Between 1984 and 1994, the number of patents issued per year grew by 119 percent, from 398 patents in 1984 to 873 patents in 1994. The following decade, the number of patents issued increased by 173 percent.
Approximately half of the patents granted to Oregon inventors in 2004 relate to inventions in Oregon's electronics manufacturing sector. This sector includes integrated circuits and computer hardware manufacturing, semiconductor manufacturing, electrical test and measurement equipment and electro-optical systems. The other 50 percent of patents relate to inventions in a broad spectrum of technologies, including computer software, chemicals, materials science, biotechnology, sporting goods/footwear, plants and general mechanical technologies.
Intel and Hewlett-Packard lead the patent pack in Oregon. In 2004 more than one in four patents naming an Oregon inventor listed Intel as the assignee, and more than one in nine named Hewlett-Packard.
The Oregon companies whose Oregon inventors were awarded the most patents overall in 2004 include:
- Intel Corporation (662)
- Hewlett-Packard Development Company, LP (269)
- Nike, Inc. (119, including 104 design patents)
- Tektronix, Inc. (57)
- Digimarc Corporation (49)
Although patents are awarded to individuals, the 2004 Oregon Patent Report identifies and ranks the total number of patents by the inventor's company. The report covers patent activity in Oregon only.
The report also includes a special supplement on patent infringement litigation in Oregon. Notably, of 33 patent infringement suits filed in federal court in Oregon last year, nearly half involved general mechanical technologies. The report reveals that although a significant portion of patents issued to Oregon inventors were for electronics and information technology inventions in 2004, the percentage of patent infringement lawsuits involving electronics and information technology inventions was small in comparison.
About Stoel Rives LLP: Stoel Rives is a business law firm providing counseling and litigation services throughout the western United States. The firm's 360 attorneys provide client-focused services to a wide range of clients, from eight offices in five western states. Stoel Rives is a regional leader in energy, natural resources, environment, litigation, corporate and intellectual property law. For more information about Stoel Rives and its offices in Oregon, Washington, California, Utah and Idaho, visit www.stoel.com.