Rochester’s technology unfazed by Kodak’s fall as small business show their flexibility

Rochester is feeling the impact of the Kodak bankruptcy. However, there are signs that the economy is recovering through small and midsized technology companies and start-ups. Over the past year, there has been a steady increase in patent applications and issued patents. Between the third quarter 2011 and the third quarter 2012, 2,839 patent applications were filed and 2,719 patents were issued. Over the course of the year, the number of patent applications filed per quarter rose 5.5% and the number issued grew by 12.5%.

The increased issuance is likely attributable to the USPTO’s effort to reduce the patent backlog. A rise in filings tends to reflect growing technology expenditures by Rochester businesses. It may also reflect a greater confidence in the patent system following the America Invents Act. As funding decisions are made for programs to support R&D and startup ventures, these numbers evidence a real ROI.

Talent that has left the larger employers seems to be finding its way to smaller companies, perhaps changing the dynamics of Rochester’s economy forever. At one point, no one thought Rochester could survive if the large companies closed or downsized, but our resiliency is apparent. The university research and technology incubators have made a real difference. RIT’s Venture Creation, Simone Center for Student Innovation, and the upcoming Center of Urban Entrepreneurship are some of the resources available to Rochester inventors.

Rochester continues to be a leading national center of innovation and patenting. Ancillary support services for innovation are locally available, providing a rich environment for start-up companies.

Are we seeing a trickle-down technology effect in the Rochester economy?