Vermont, California and Idaho were among the 10 states with the most patent activity in 2011, according to the State Entrepreneurship Index by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Here's what's triggering the innovation.
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.