"Patenting Prosperity: Invention and Economic Performance in the United States and its Metropolitan Areas" is the first analysis of its kind to present patenting trends on a regional level from 1980 to 2012.
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Overview: - Innovating Through the Years
From 1790 to 1853, the rate of invention was very low, as the U.S. economy was dominated by agriculture. Yet, patenting exploded in the Industrial Revolution starting in the mid 19th Century and lasting through the 1920s—a period characterized as the "golden age" of invention. With the onset of the Great Depression, the rate of invention plummeted from the 1930s to 1955, but there was a noticeable post-war rebound after major research breakthroughs in modern information technology were first made. The decade from 1974 to 1984 saw a precipitous decline in patenting, but since then, a post-industrial era of invention has begun and patent rates have steadily increased and remained near historic highs. Growth in patenting slowed immediately after the two most recent recessions but recovered thereafter; 2010 and 2011 saw large increases in both applications and grants.