Special section – 2016 Eureka Index: Breaking with traditional technologies

Telephones have evolved from tools that just make calls to mobile instruments that entertain, inform and help users complete myriad transactions. Medical products have become smart. “And people no longer buy cars for horsepower but for their electronics,” said James Malackowski, CEO of Ocean Tomo LLC.

For this reason, he said, automakers and suppliers are consolidating their technologies and outnumbering life science companies on this year’s Eureka Index, Crain’s annual look at the top 25 most innovative companies. Crain’s worked with Ocean Tomo, a Chicago-based intellectual property valuation firm, to rank 2015 patent portfolios for companies in Southeast Michigan.

Rankings are based on patent quality, the projected ability to bring the patents to market, and whether patent owners keep their patents or make them public domain. In 2015, there were 4,182 patent awards in Southeast Michigan, which for this report includes Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, Livingston, St. Clair and Genesee counties, up from 3,957 in 2014. Total patent awards in the U.S. last year dropped slightly to 325,979 from 326,032 in 2014.

Read the full intro story here.

Five patent holders worth noting:

Find the entire special section here.