Today's Globe and Mail published an interesting list of 24 cities ranked by the number of U.S. patents per 100,000 population. The top ranked Canadian city was Vancouver (11th), followed by Toronto (12th), Calgary (13th), Montreal (15th) and Halifax (20th). Seven of the top ten cities were in the U.S. There were some surprising omissions. Houston, for example, didn't make the list despite its high patent output. And San Diego and the Research Triangle area in North Carolina, home to many research universities and biotech companies, were also missing.
It's easy to dismiss such rankings as U.S.-centric because they're based only on USPTO data. But the fact is that many Canadian inventors and companies file applications first in the U.S. According to the USPTO's Fiscal Year 2010 annual report, Canadians filed 11,250 applications in 2009. In comparison, the CIPO received 5,215 patent applications from Canadian residents in 2009-2010.
It would be interesting to re-calculate this list based on PCT data from PatentScope. Cities with high filings of PCT patent applications per 100K pop. might indicate concentrations of companies with global rather than national or regional patent strategies.