Tampa, Florida is home to a substantial innovation economy according to statistics on the number of area inventors.

Who is an inventor?

To be an inventor on a patent, one must contribute to the conception of an idea and not simply reduce the idea to practice. In essence, an inventor on a patent must make it “sufficiently clear to enable one skilled in the art to reduce the invention to a practical form.” Gunter v. Stream, 573 F.2d 77, 197 USPQ 482 (CCPA 1978).

Tampa Bay’s Patent Statistics

Nearly 1,400 Tampa area inventors were named on granted patents in 2019. In particular, the City of Tampa had over 450 inventors. That was over three times that of the next closest city, St. Petersburg, with 143 inventors. In addition, as shown below in the heat map of the region, there are several additional “hot spots” for inventor activity, including Palm Harbor, Lutz, Largo, and New Port Richey.

Heatmap of Tampa Bay Inventorship
Tampa Bay Inventorship Hotspot Map

Looking closely at the City of Tampa in particular, the city is home to the University of South Florida (USF). USF is a doctoral university based on its high level of research activity as noted by the Carnegie Foundation for the advancement of Teaching. USF consistently ranks as one of the most patent prolific universities in the nation and is supported by the National Academy of Inventors. Consequently, the surrounding areas are populated with highly educated educators, professionals, students, and community members. This gives rise to Tampa’s high level of inventorship.

City Number of Inventors
Tampa, Florida467
St. Petersburg, Florida143
Clearwater, Florida95
Palm Harbor, Florida88
Lutz, Florida76
Number of Tampa Inventors Named On Granted Patents in 2019

Methodology

Data was extracted from the USPTO Patent Full-Text and Image Database. The queries were run for the inventor’s city over an entire year based on location. For example, to pull all inventors in 2019 for granted patents within the City of Tampa, the following query was executed:

IC/Tampa and IS/FL and ISD/$/$/2019. 

Population data was extracted from the United States Census Bureau based on the most recent 2010 census data.