Whatever happened to Mark Schweizer? One of the funniest, spikiest Kats, Mark retired from active Kat-service a few years ago when the demands of the real world kept taking him away from this corner of the blogosphere. But Mark is not forgotten -- and nor has he forgotten us. Out of the blue, this Kat was overjoyed to receive the diagram depicted above, together with the following text:
"I've had some fun with the EPO statistics 2012 and produced the attached graph. The graph shows the relationship between public debt as % of GDP (2011 data from Wikipedia) on the x-axis, and number of patent applications per capita for each EU Member State (according to country of residency of first named applicant, according to the EPO's Statistics and Trends here) on the y-axis.
I've multiplied the per capita filings by 1,000 because the numbers are very small otherwise. I've also excluded all EU Member States with fewer than 100 patent applications filed in 2012 because, with such low numbers, the figures become unreliable (in case you miss Greece -- it had just 79 applications in 2012, so did not make the cut). I've included, on the other hand, the two non-EU Member States USA and Switzerland (CH) for comparison purposes. The correlation of public debt as % of GDP and applications per capita is with R squared = 0.3 is moderate, but not too bad for social sciences. Of course, correlation is not causation, and that is certainly true here. Anyone may interpret the graph as he or she sees fit - I just find it, well, interesting. And fun".The IPKat, who still pines a little bit for the comforting thoughts of Katonomist Nicola Searle, was greatly cheered by these figures. Merpel is still pretending to understand them, even though the IPKat caught her reading them upside down. But what do readers think? Has Mark discovered an important truth? Should we call it Schweizer's Law?