Apr 4, 2024 - News

Patent data shows Ogden rise in tech

Change in utility patents granted per capita
Data: National Science Foundation; Note: Patents identified by location of inventors; Excludes metros with fewer than 50 patents in 2022; A bigger bubble indicates greater change; Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Of Utah's tech centers, Ogden saw the biggest decadelong growth in patents granted, beating the Salt Lake and Provo metro areas.

Why it matters: While Provo — home to Silicon Slopes — has more patents overall, the 10-year growth suggests Ogden is one of the nation's fastest-growing tech centers.

By the numbers: Ogdenites were granted 199 utility patents in 2022, or 30.5 per 100,000 residents. That's up more than 34% from 22.7 in 2012, according to Axios' analysis of U.S. Patent and Trademark Office data.

  • Provo-area inventors obtained 54.3 patents per 100,000 residents, a decline of 12.4% from 2012.
  • The Salt Lake metro tallied 46.1 per 100,000 — a rise of 6.7%.

The intrigue: In Ogden and Salt Lake, medical technology was the biggest contributor to new patents.

  • Provo was more focused on computer technology.
  • Computer technology was not the top focus of any of the 10 cities with the biggest patent gains nationwide.

Reality check: Getting a patent is one thing; creating the proposed product or service is another.

  • That said, the number of patents granted is still a useful proxy for measuring innovation.

Zoom out: Nationally, 42.5 patents were granted for every 100,000 residents in 2022, up from 38.4 in 2012 (+11%).

  • "Counties with high patenting intensity are concentrated in the United States along the coasts and in parts of the Great Lakes region, Texas, and the Rocky Mountains," according to a February report from the National Science Foundation.

The big picture: San Jose, California, and San Francisco were the top patent-getters per population — by a long shot.

  • They were followed by San Diego, Seattle, Boston and Boise, Idaho.
  • Northwest Arkansas; Louisville, Kentucky, and New Orleans showed the biggest growth in patents granted.

What's next: Expect other potentially surprising innovation hubs to emerge over the next few years, as money from laws like the CHIPS Act and private investment fund new semiconductor plants and other high-tech projects nationwide.


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