28th apr, 2009

Europe not represented among the worlds most innovative cities

Business Week did a survey of US patents where they assesed the value of all (newer) US patents based on 50 factors, including patent maintenance fees and how many times each patent is cited. This data was cross-referenced with the addresses of the first-listed patent holders.

This has led to a list of the worlds most innovative cities (from the US point of view). At the top of the list is San Francisco, Tokyo and Boston. No European cities are on the list which is actually surprising to me. It could be explained with the fact that not all EU companies do that many US patents compared to their US counterparts or that a European company uses its US branch for US applications which would then seem like the innovation was done in the US. Actually you should see on the location of the inventor if it should be accurate – and the survey does not seem to take in to consideration the fact that there are listed more than one patent holder.

But still surprising that no European cities make the list



One reason could actually be the pure software or business process patents – but I´m not sure they can tip the balance that much. many European companies apply for software patents in the US too.
Another reason could be the low requirements for inventive step (smaller inventions) geneating more patents.

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