In this paper the relationship between the pursuit of foreign patent rights by inventors or their assignees and economic development in the countries in which the respective inventors reside is examined. Outward-bound international patenting is contrasted with domestic patenting and with inward-bound international patenting. The empirical analysis establishes plausible evidence that outward-bound international patenting matters for economic development. The main conclusion, based on empirical research about the patenting profiles of 78 countries over 14 years, is that countries whose residents exhibit a relatively high proclivity for obtaining foreign patent protection for endogenous inventions are likely to enjoy relatively high levels of wealth per person. An implication of this conclusion is that the exploitation by national residents of foreign markets for the commercialization of endogenous technology through the sophisticated use of the intellectual property systems of foreign countries is an important factor for national economic development.