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Patent activity sees major upswing

Patents assigned to Tennessee-based companies and entities are up approximately 26.7 percent compared to the same time in 2013.

Bass, Berry & Sims PLC’s intellectual property and technology practice group has crunched the numbers, which reveal significant increases.

As of Sept. 16, Tennessee-based companies and entities had been assigned 684 patents. At this time last year, the mark was 540, with 2013 concluding with 746 patents assigned.

The average number of patents assigned per year for each of the past four years has been 664.

Nationally, there were 233,932 patents issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office as of Sept.16, just 12.4 percent more than last year’s total of 208,194, versus the 26.7 percent increase in Tennessee.

“The increase in patents awarded to Tennessee applicants is not surprising given the national trends,” said Greg Parker, co-assistant practice leader with the Bass Berry & Sims intellectual property and technology practice group . “But it is likely also a testament of the rapid growth of the technology sector in Tennessee over the last five years. Entrepreneurs and innovators continue to flock to the state to take advantage of the vibrant and electric cultural environment in cities like Nashville and Chattanooga, as well as economic factors like a low cost of living and lack of a state income tax. 

Parker (pictured) said that with regional business accelerator programs, the nation’s increasingly fast Internet service and an emphasis on entrepreneurial activity, the increased number of patents awarded to Tennesseans is “evidence that the state is beginning to see the fruits of its efforts to attract mobile innovators and encourage local startups.”

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