3. California
most inventive states california
A scene from "Chasing Mavericks," a film shot in Santa Cruz County set for release on Oct. 26.

Patents per thousand residents: 3.33

California has two obvious advantages: World-class research universities and a hub of leading companies in technology, telecom, bioengineering and biomedicine.

Less obvious reasons for its patent prowess: Innovation in traditional industries such as agriculture and entertainment, according to Loren Kaye, president of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office plans to open its first Silicon Valley satellite office to speed up the patent filing process for companies and entrepreneurs.

Source: Patents per thousands residents, based on U.S. Patent and Trademark Office data as published in the 2012 State Entrepreneurship Index from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
  @CNNMoney - Last updated October 26 2012 02:37 PM ET
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