Inside the Data Center
Hoosier Patents Trending Downward
Indiana University recently issued a press release about the record-setting pace of inventions disclosed by its Research and Technology Corporation (IURTC). For the first three months of its 2005 fiscal year beginning July 1, the group disclosed 128 inventions, already more than the 127 inventions disclosed during the entire 2004 fiscal year. At that rate, IURTC could quadruple the number of inventions disclosed this year compared to last. The full press release is available online at http://newsinfo.iu.edu/news/page/normal/2531.html.
Patents are granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to individuals and groups in the United States, its territories and foreign countries. Utility patents (patents for inventions) comprise by far the largest category of patents granted by the USPTO: in 2004, 89.5 percent of patents of U.S. origin were utility patents. Other types of patents include designs, botanical plants and re-issues.
The IURTC may be on a path to help reverse a downward trend in the number of inventions registered by Indiana residents and organizations. Indiana's rank has steadily fallen from a high of 11 in 1963 to a low of 22 in 2004. Overall, between 1963 and 2004, Indiana ranks 14th, with a total of 46,151 inventions, 2.1 percent of the 2,216,800 utility patents granted to residents of the United States and territories in that time period. In 1963, Indiana registered 994 inventions, 2.7 percent of the total originated in the United States (see Figures 1 and 2). In 2000 and 2004, Indiana registered only 1.7 percent and 1.5 percent of the total, respectively. If the IURTC continues disclosing record numbers of inventions, we might see an increase in the total number and percentage of inventions registered by Indiana in 2005.
Figure 1: Indiana Inventions Registered with the Patent Office
Figure 2: Indiana Inventions as a Percent of U.S. Originated
According to the latest American Community Survey (ACS) estimates from the Census Bureau, Indiana still leads the nation in the percent of workforce in the manufacturing industry. At a 90 percent confidence interval, the 2004 estimates show that 22.5 percent of Indiana's employed civilian population 16 years and over are working in manufacturing (see Table 1).
Table 1: Percent in Manufacturing, 2004
Since the ACS is based on sample data, the estimate for Indiana could be as low as 19.9 percent or as high as 25.1 percent. At that confidence interval, Michigan and Wisconsin are in a statistical tie with Indiana. The estimate for Michigan is 19.9 percent, with lower and upper bound estimates at 18.9 percent and 20.1 percent, respectively. Wisconsin has an estimated 19.0 percent of its civilian workforce in manufacturing with lower and upper bound estimates at 16.0 percent and 22.0 percent. To learn more about the American Community Survey or to see more ranking tables for 2004, visit www.census.gov/acs.
As soon as Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, the Census Bureau was providing demographic, socio-economic, housing and other economic data to federal, state and local government officials, and other interested parties. The Census has created a website with extensive information, data and maps about the people, economy, transportation and housing affected by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma (www.census.gov/topics/preparedness.html).
Frank Wilmot, State Data Center Coordinator
Indiana State Library