The is post just in from Patent Docs blog. It discusses a recent study don by the Partnership for a New American Economy (we're all for that aren't we?), a bipartisan group of US mayors and business leaders. The group advocates sensible US immigration reform (an oxymoron if ever I've heard one). The grou released a report called "Patent Pending: How Immigrants are Reinventing the American Economy".
Highlights from the report include some statistics on US inventorship. The study looked at invention filings in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields at the Top 10 Universities filing such patents in the US (see blog post above for list and numbers of inventions). Key tidbits:
- 76% of patents issued in 2011 at the "Top 10" schools named a foreign born inventor
- 54% of all patents issued to these schools named a foreign born inventor likely to face visa hurdles
- 79% of patents relating to pharmaceuticals had a foreign born inventor
- In STEM fields, 99% of patents had a foreign born inventor
- Every graduate with a STEM degree creates on average 2.62 additional jobs in US
- S. Korea, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Germany and the UK admit 60-80% of immigrants on an economic need basis ---- the US? [drumroll please] ONLY 7%
Several reforms were recommended to make it easier for STEM students/graduates to get visas, particularly if they have investors for their ideas. See blog for more detail. As one concession though, none of the immigrants will be allowed to visit or settle in Arizona. Their economy is apparently fine.
Note: One of the commenters on the blog made the following point though by stating, "This is a classic lack of control problem. The unreported figure is what percentage of US patents have at least one native inventor? The answer is probably something like 95%. Publishing the control would show how meaningless this "study" is." I do think the requested control stat is important to assessing the importance or not of the results. As I have not read the original report, maybe it's in there.
Posted by Bruce Lehr Jul 5th 2012.