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By Michael Arndt
Every year, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office issues about 180,000 patents to inventors from all around the world. The world is not equally creative, however. The most valuable patents come disproportionately from an elite set of cities in just three countries, according to Ocean Tomo, a financial research and services firm that specializes in assessing intellectual property.
At BusinessWeek's request, Ocean Tomo ranked the world's most inventive cities. The Chicago-based company began by calculating the value of patents awarded since 1976 based on 50 factors, including patent maintenance fees and how many times each patent is cited in new ones (the higher those figures, the greater the value). It then cross-referenced these patents with the addresses of the first-listed patent holders. The result: a patent-value score for each metro area—and this Top 25 list.
Think you can name all 25? Write your city picks down now, and click away.