- Associated Press - Sunday, June 5, 2016

CARMEL, Ind. (AP) - Indiana is experiencing an increase in patents thanks to inventions emerging from the orthopedic industry, flagship universities and health care firms.

The state’s inventors secured more than 2,000 patents in 2015, accounting for 30 percent more than they did in 2011, according to data compiled by Carmel-based patent valuation company Pellegrino & Associates. Last year’s number is double the number of patents granted to Indiana inventors in 2008, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported (https://bit.ly/1TVe7mY).

State Commerce Secretary Victor Smith said the trend reflects the “perfect intersection” of new technologies and techniques permeating business sectors in which Indiana already leads, including manufacturing, agriculture and life sciences, as well as the beginning of a strong foothold in information technology.

“When you get new technology and new materials and new approaches of how to do things, whoever comes up with the best recipe of those things, you’re going to be at a strategic advantage,” he said. “We happen to be a really good center of gravity for a lot of changes.”

Even though Indiana’s patent awards are rising, it ranks only 17th for patents granted since 2011, trailing states such as California and New York.

Mike Pellegrino, president of Pellegrino & Associates, said the state trend “looks OK” the last few years. But he said Indiana’s patent activity has actually eroded over time as other states have taken better advantage of booming industries.

He called for “tighter alignment” between university research and “what the market actually demands.” He also said Indiana should provide inventors more and better tax incentives.

“Some of the largest growth areas are the semiconductor, wireless and software sectors, and we’re not keeping up,” Pellegrino said.

Smith said he expected upcoming investments will pay big dividends and spur innovation in Indiana, including cloud computing company Salesforce’s addition of 800 jobs in Indianapolis and Rolls-Royce’s nearly $600 million partnership with Purdue University to develop new jet engines.

“I would think we’d continue to stay at pace with our historical performance, if not gain ground,” he said. “Just think of the patents that will come along from a brand-new, from-scratch engine design out of that one company.”

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Information from: Indianapolis Business Journal, https://www.ibj.com


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