NSF Survey: 20 Percent of U.S. Businesses Performing or Funding R&D Applied for U.S. Patents in 2008
A majority of patent applications came from three industries
Data from the 2008 Business R&D and Innovation Survey reveals that one out of five U.S. companies with research and development (R&D) applied for a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in 2008. The data is the most recent year information is available.
U.S. companies applied for more than 130,000 U.S. patents in 2008. The USPTO issued more than 65,000 patents to companies with R&D that year. Patents are a legal means used by inventors to exclude others from using their invention.
Companies in just three industries--computer and electronic products, software publishing and chemicals--accounted for 56 percent of all patent applications. These three industries accounted for a similarly large share, 59 percent, of the total worldwide R&D expense estimate.
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