The Portland area ranked 15th in the nation for the number of patents that residents applied for between 2007 and 2011.
But if you look at the rate of patents per capita, Corvallis jumps to fourth in the nation — beating towns like San Francisco and Seattle.
Professor Deborah Strumsky of the University of North Carolina says Corvallis was not on their radar. But, she warns, a lot of the patents came from just one company, Hewlett Packard.
“If the university and other firms are not able to build on that, when printers go out of style, Corvallis could fall just as easily,” she says.
Strumsky says patents and inventions are a good gauge of the long-term economic prospects of a town. The number of patents being applied for has been growing for three decades and is now near the historic high last seen during the industrial revolution.