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San Jose

The capital of Silicon Valley topped the list with a five-year average of 9,237 patents per year, led by consumer technology giant Apple with 726 patents in 2011.

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San Francisco

Apple, Cisco Systems and Oracle were the top-three patent-producing companies in the City by the Bay in 2011, while the city's five-year average for patent filings was 7,003.Photo credit: Basil D Soufi

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New York City

The New York metro area five-year average of patents was 6,907, with top-patenting companies that include IBM, Alcatel-Lucent and Avaya.Photo credit: Diliff

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Los Angeles

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per worker (a measure of productivity) was $16,000 higher in metropolitan areas that developed more patents from 2007 to 2011—such as L.A.

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Seattle

Microsoft led the list of the Seattle's metro area's most prolific patent filers with 2,273 in 2011 alone. The city averaged nearly 4,000 patents a year from 2007 to 2011.

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Boston

Metropolitan areas, such as Boston, with leading university research programs in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields patent more frequently.Photo credit: Bert Kaufmann

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Chicago

The Windy City's top patent performer in 2011 was Motorola Mobility with 240 patents filed; the Chicagoland area averaged 3,886 patents a year over five years.Photo credit: Pete Stewart

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San Diego

Tech heavyweights like Hewlett-Packard, Qualcomm, Broadcom and Sony were among the top patent issuers for the San Diego metro area in 2011.Photo credit: Wouter

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Minneapolis

Among the top-five patent producers in Minneapolis in 2011 were Honeywell, Seagate and 3M, which nabbed a combined 830 patents that year.Photo credit: Justin

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Detroit

Four out of the top-five patent producers in the Motor City were carmakers, including General Motors, Chrysler and Ford. The area netted an average of 2,720 patents a year from 2007 to 2011.Photo credit: Andrea_44

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