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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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