Pinpoint Shadow  Dive Into Information About Patents in Tucson, Arizona MSA

How are we doing?

Patents per 10,000 Workers

Patents Fuel Gauge 2020 Tucson MSAs

In 2020, the Tucson MSA posted a patent rate of 16.8 patents per 10,000 workers, an increase of 0.3 patents per 10,000 workers over the 2019 rate. That ranked Tucson fourth among peer MSAs. Tucson's rate was ahead of the national rate of 11.5, and the Phoenix MSA rate of 9.8. San Diego ranked first at 41.1, and El Paso ranked last at 1.2 patents. 

Why is it important?

The number of utility patents per 10,000 workers is an important measure of innovative activity and technological change. A high rate may be indicative of firms’ propensity to invest in research and development (R & D). An increasing rate over time indicates that individuals and firms are seeking to improve the efficiency of their productive capabilities. Patent rates can also serve as a measure of entrepreneurial activity and collaboration between an educated workforce and local industry.

How do we compare?

The state of Arizona posted a patent rate of 10.1 patents per 10,000 workers in 2020. That ranked Arizona seventh among the 10 western states, slightly behind the national rate of 11.5. California placed first at 28.5, and New Mexico placed last with 6.0 patents. Comparatively, the Tucson MSA posted a rate of 16.8 patents per 10,000 workers. Patent data for all the MSAs and Arizona counties is available on the comparison page.

The Tucson MSA posted a patent rate of 16.8 patents per 10,000 workers. This was one and a half times the national rate of 11.5 patents per 10,000 workers and substantially higher than the state and the Phoenix MSA rates of 10.1 and 9.8, respectively, in 2020.

What are the key trends?

Between 2000 and 2007, the rate of patents per 10,000 workers in the Tucson MSA tracked closely with state and national trends. Since 2007, however, the number of patents per 10,000 workers has nearly doubled in Tucson. The state and nation posted increases of 68.3% and 105.4%, respectively between 2008 and 2020. The Tucson MSA’s rate (16.8) remains far above the state and national rate.

How is it measured?

The rate of patents per 10,000 workers is computed from the total number of utility patents granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and total nonfarm employment reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Current Employment Statistics (CES) program.  Utility patents are issued for the invention of a “new process, machine, manufacture or composition of matter”, which grants the owner exclusive right to sell the invention for a period of up to 20 years. Utility patents are distinguished from others by providing some specific, substantial and credible utility.