President Obama’s recent State of the Union address spoke of domestic oil and gas industry including shale gas (“American-made energy”). A leading but controversial technology for this industry is, of course, hydraulic fracturing. A brief review of the patent literature for 2012 confirms that inventors in this area for US patent filings are largely from the US. In a global economy, such domestic concentration for inventorship is somewhat unusual. The concentration of this innovation in the U.S. should be monitored.
As of today, in 2012, 38 patent publications refer to “hydraulic fracturing.” Of these, 27 (71%) list all U.S. inventors, and 32 (84%) list all U.S. inventors or list a majority of inventors as residing in the U.S. Only 5 of the 38 (13%) list all non-U.S. inventors. The leading state for inventors is Texas.