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Patents and Progress

Patent filings are at an all-time high, reports BusinessNewsDaily. In 2011, the most recent year for which there is data, about 250,000 patents were granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office, Business News Daily adds, drawing on a Brookings Institute study.

Most of the patents awarded domestically went to people living in about 20 metro areas, it says, especially regions with well-regarded graduate programs in the sciences. "The inventive capacity of regions is noticeably strengthened through educational attainment in STEM fields, academic training and research, collaboration, and public sector investments in basic and applied R&D," the report says.

Since innovation appears to be clustered in certain areas, the Brookings report also suggests that law- and policy-makers at different levels of government "consider ways to foster these attributes more broadly and generally support research and development."