A person can receive some very important protections for an invention they developed when they patent their invention. Lately, the number of utility patents received here in Michigan has been going up.
In 2011, 3,964 utility patents were awarded to parties in Michigan. In 2014, patent applicants in the state received 5,306 utility patents. This is a nearly 34 percent increase in annual utility patent total.
This increase is very close to the same level of increase seen in the country as a whole. Between 2011 and 2014, the annual national utility patent award total rose around 33 percent.
All of Michigan's neighboring states also saw an increase in utility patent award total in the above-mentioned time period. How did their increases compare to Michigan's? Michigan's percentage increase was well below the percentage increase of Indiana and slightly below the percentage increase of Illinois. It was, however, well above the percentage increases of Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Why do you think Michigan has been seeing a substantial increase in utility patent award totals in recent years? What impacts do you think this increase is having in Michigan's economy and for Michigan businesses?
An important thing to note is that receiving a patent does not mean that a person/business doesn't really need to take any more steps to protect their invention. Once granted a patent, it can be important for a person/business to take patent protection measures. This includes responding properly when one's patent has been infringed upon. Attorneys can help patent-holders with pursuing legal action against infringers and with other patent protection issues.
Source: Crain's Detroit Business, "Michigan, U.S. utility patents continue to rise," July 14, 2015