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.
Sikorsky Aircraft, maker of the Black Hawk helicopter, is one of many industry leaders generating patents in Connecticut.
Patents per thousand residents: 2.36
Leading university research work is spurring innovation and patents. So is R&D from industry leaders based in Connecticut.
Among the state's big patent players are Pratt & Whitney, which makes aircraft engines; Sikorsky Aircraft, which makes the Black Hawk helicopter; and General Dynamics(GD), a diversified manufacturing giant.
"A new state initiative is the IP Factory. We're working with entrepreneurs and companies to bring their dormant ideas to life by helping them with financing," said Catherine Smith, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development.