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Xconomy’s Bruce Bigelow dropped some knowledge this morning on patents won last year by San Diego Companies. Bigelow ranked the top 25 local companies by the number of patents won. As expected, wireless giant Qualcomm had by far and away the most with 296. Interestingly, Carlsbad-based golf equipment manufacturer Callaway had the second most with 64.

The numbers, which Xconomy got from IFI Patent Intelligence of Wilmington, Del., show that the bad economy didn’t stifle invention. Here is Bigelow’s explanation:

In reporting its results, IFI says interest in protecting intellectual property is on an upswing, both in the United States and abroad. In the U.S., the patent office issued a total of 157,774 utility patents in 2008, up slightly from 2007. And that seems borne out by our San Diego list, at least for this year’s top 25, which collectively received slightly more patents than last year. Finally, IFI cautions that its tallies — and the rankings — are based only on the patents issued to companies’ operations in the San Diego region. So, for example, patents awarded to SAIC business units in Virginia would not be included in the rankings for San Diego.

DAVID WASHBURN

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