Long Islanders received 1,149 invention patents in 2015, down almost 9 percent from the prior year but still accounting for about one in 10 granted to New Yorkers, according to a Melville patent attorney.
Gerald Bodner, who compiled the patent report for Wednesday night’s Long Island Technology Hall of Fame induction ceremony, said the region continues to produce patents despite having fewer major corporate employers based on Long Island like aerospace giant Grumman Corp. and bar code pioneer Symbol Technologies Inc.
“What we’re finding is a lot of small companies are filing applications and getting patents,” Bodner said. “It’s not the giants anymore.”
The 2015 total was down 8.6 percent from the 1,257 utility patents issued to Nassau and Suffolk residents the previous year, he found.
Utility patents are granted for a “new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter,” according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Other patent categories are design, reissue and plant patents, which are granted for newly invented or discovered plants.
Grumman, which once employed tens of thousands of Long Islanders, has seen its presence diminish since 1994, when the company was merged into Northrop Grumman Corp. based in Falls Church, Virginia.
Holtsville-based Symbol Technologies was acquired first by Motorola Inc. in 2007 and then by Lincolnshire, Illinois-based Zebra Technologies Corp. in 2014.
Bodner found that Zebra’s Holtsville unit remained a prolific patent generator, with 105 in 2015.
Other major Long Island companies and institutions in Bodner’s search included: Brookhaven National Laboratory, 26 patents; Pall Corp. (acquired by Washington-D.C.-based Danaher Corp. in 2015), 19; CA Inc. (formerly based in Islandia, but now headquartered in Manhattan), 18; Omnitek Partners LLC, 14; Voxx International Corp., 14; Feinstein Institute for Medical Research (a unit of Northwell Health), 9; and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, 4.
Japan-based Canon was a prolific patent generator in 2015. Its Long Island unit, Canon USA, Inc. in Melville, produced five, Bodner said.
Among individual inventors living on Long Island, one standout was Stephen E. Terry of InterDigital Technology Corp., with 50 patents.
Yacov Shamash, vice president for economic development at Stony Brook University and a member of the Hall of Fame’s steering committee, said that early-stage companies are filling at least part of the patent void left by the exit of major corporations.
“You’ve seen an increase in the incubator companies,” he said. “A lot of big companies have left, but people who filed patents are still here.”
Bodner said he could not calculate the number of patents generated by Stony Brook University because it assigns patents to its parent, the State University of New York.
He prepares the report each year for the annual Long Island Technology Hall of Fame induction; this year’s event is scheduled for Wednesday at the Garden City Hotel.
Inductees are: professor Clinton T. Rubin, founding chair of the department of biomedical engineering at Stony Brook University; Bruce Stillman, president and chief executive of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; and Peter “Steve” MacDonald, the deceased founder and chief executive of CD-adapco, a Melville-based engineering software and services company. Receiving the entrepreneur award will be David Antar, founder and president of A+ Technology & Solutions Inc., an IT security and infrastructure company in Bay Shore.
Based on Census Bureau population estimates for 2014, Long Island had about 14.5 percent of New York’s population. In 2015 Long Island accounted for about 10.4 percent of the state’s patents.
These companies and organizations were among LI’s top patent generators in 2015, according to a report by Melville patent attorney Gerald Bodner.
105 Zebra Technologies
26 Brookhaven National Lab
19 Pall Corp.
18 CA Inc.
14 Omnitek Partners LLC
14 Voxx International Corp.
9 Feinstein Institute for Medical Research
5 Canon USA
4 Cold Spring Harbor Lab