Intellectual property law firm Hoffman Warnick LLC released the 2011 first quarter Rochester Patent Index report this week. Although the total number of patents issued in the area dropped slightly, the figures show continued growth for the number of patents issued to firms or companies other than Eastman Kodak Co. or Xerox Corp.
A total of 527 patents were issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in the Rochester area in the first quarter of 2011, down slightly from a total of 542 issued in the fourth quarter of 2010. However, 345 patents were issued to companies other than Kodak or Xerox, a gain of 35 over the fourth quarter of 2010.
“We see this as a signal that small- and mid-size tech businesses in the Rochester area are continuing to invest in research and development,” said Michael Hoffman, a partner with the firm. “This is a very positive sign for the region as it is this technology that will fuel future growth.”
Hoffman Warnick partner Spencer Warnick said the slight drop in Kodak and Xerox patents was not consequential and the increase in other patents issued shows the area’s economy is becoming less reliant on the “Big Two” and becoming steadier and more diversified.
“It’s a sign that as [Kodak and Xerox] cut back, people are starting their own businesses and staying in town,” Warnick said. “Anytime you see those figures going up, it’s a good sign.”
The total number of patents issued in the U.S. went up for the second straight quarter.
A total of 62,227 patents were issued in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2011 versus a total of 61, 116 issued in the fourth quarter of 2010.
The Albany- and Rochester-based firm typically releases the figures soon after the quarter ends but Warnick, a former USPTO employee, said USPTO likely experienced “a mild beginning of the year slowdown” and the USPTO data “was not as granular as it should be.”
The firm’s “Patent of the Quarter” went to IBM employees in the Albany area for immersion lithography.
The entire report can be seen at www.hoffmanwarnick.com.