Friday, February 03, 2006

Sign of the Times - International Patents at Record Levels

A big topic in the blogosphere is the rise of countries like China, India, and others in science and technology. One measure of the trend of the rest of the world's attempts to cut into the large lead the U.S. has enjoyed in these areas since after WW II is the number of patents issued to inventors of various countries. A new report has international patent requests at an all-time high, with the largest increases by South Korea and China. The U.S. still has one-third of all patent requests, but that level has dropped in recent years and the trend is towards Asian countries making gains. It is no surprise, as those nations have been producing huge numbers of science and engineering students and graduates, many of whom received advanced degrees and training in the U.S. before heading back home. Look for this trend to continue, certainly in the short-term.

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