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Technology Class Treemap by State

A detailed look at the technology classes that make up each state's patent total

The data in the below chart via a downloadable Excel file

This visualization serves as a details view of the technology classes that make up a state's utility patents. The treemap above organizes all of a state's technology classes for a given timeframe, with a rectangle's size representing its share of the patent total, and the line graph below depicts the per year values for a given technology class if a rectangle is hovered over, and all classes for the state otherwise. We can pick which state we're looking at using the dropdownbox on the right. 

As per our previous visualization (https://developer.uspto.gov/visualization/utility-patents-state-over-time), let's take a look at Idaho. We learned from that visualization that Idaho is a big patent producer, driven primarily by Micron Technology, Inc. So, we see that Idaho's largest technology classes by far are 'Semiconductor Device Manufacturing: Process' (technology class 438, with 21.99% of the total patent share from 1995-2014) and 'Active Solid-State Devices (e.g., Transistors, Solid-State Diodes)' (technology class 257, with 13.95%). Unsurprisingly, given that the large share of Idaho's patent production is through Micron (a technology company), the largest technology classes involve computers. Vermont has a similar breakdown of technology classes, by way of IBM.

Other states are similarly dominated by a particular technology class (or kind of technology classes). Michigan's largest technology class since 2008, for example, is 'DP: Vehicles, Navigation, and Relative Location (Data Processing)' (technology class 701). Given Michigan's traditional status as the locus of the USA's auto-making industry, Looking at the last 20 years (1995-2014), we can see that the largest technology class is technically Internal-Combustion Engines (technology class 123), but this class stays relatively constant year-over-year, while technology class 701 increases significantly, starting in 2008, corresponding with the automotive industry bailout. This may point to a new, deliberate R&D focus in the industry following the injection of funds. Gas prices drove many consumers to purchase more fuel-efficient vehicles, such as Japanese-made models. Perhaps the US automotive industry decided to differentiate their competitive offerings using services based on GPS, rather than trying to play catch-up with fuel efficiency.

These detail views not only give us a good sense of what industry in a particular state looks like (Oklahoma's largest technology class, for example, is 'Wells (shafts or deep borings in the earth, e.g., for oil and gas)'), but can also help us understand trends within an industry if that industry is very specifically associated with a particular state. The automotive industry in Michigan is perhaps the clearest example, but perhaps we could do a similar (though necessarily more subtle) analysis of Silicon Valley. California is not dominated by a single technology class, but many of their top technology classes are computer-oriented. Which technology classes are rising, and which are falling?

Sources:
EXTENDED YEAR SET - Patenting By Geographic Region (State and Country), Breakout by Technology Class
http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/ido/oeip/taf/stcteca/regions_stcl_gd.htm
 

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