04 March 2009

Does Innovation and number of Patents correlate?

McKinsey blog What Matters has an article "Building an innovation nation", which they summarized as a graph showing how innovation and US patents are directly related.

The article itself is well-thought, balanced and logical, but the graph gets all attention. One picture is worth ten thousand words.

Is number of patents really the most important evaluation criteria? Do you really measure world-wide innovation with number of patents in USA? Not in the world, but in USA? Only?

The article says USA is slipping in innovation, because many Asian people either return home or don't come at all. Japan and Europe are getting old. New innovations comes from emerging areas, which just might not register patents in USA. India and China we already know, look out for Africa.