Calif. Universities Top in U.S. Utility Patent Grants
The University of California system and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology took the top two slots in a 2015 ranking of U.S. utility patents granted to universities.
By Joseph Marks
July 12 — The University of California system and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology took the top two slots in a 2015 ranking of U.S. utility patents granted to universities.
Stanford University, the University of Texas and Tsinghua University in Beijing round out the top five on the list, which is based on Patent and Trademark Office data and published by the National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association.
This is the third year the organizations have published the list. The California system and MIT have taken the top two slots all three years.
Universities and their related research foundations frequently patent new inventions and license the technology to companies.
Universities and their licensees have also not been shy about pursuing infringement cases. The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation won $234 million in damages from Apple in 2015, after proving the company incorporated chip technology developed by university researchers into its iPhones and iPads (201 PTD, 10/19/15).
Marvell Technology Group Ltd. settled an infringement case brought by Carnegie Mellon University for $750 million in February. The settlement came after a federal appeals court overturned a $1.54 billion jury award. Carnegie Mellon ranks 63rd on the 2015 patent recipient list (32 PTD, 2/18/16).
Top 10 Largely Unchanged
Collectively, the top 10 universities or university systems on the list were granted 2,070 patents in 2015, compared with 2,016 in 2014 and 1,818 in 2013. UC system patent grants grew from 399 to 489 during that period.
The list's top 10 slots have remained largely consistent in its first three years. Positions six through 10, in 2014 and 2015, were filled by the California Institute of Technology, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University and the University of Michigan.
Georgia Tech Research Corp., which holds patents for the Georgia Tech Research Institute, edged out Johns Hopkins in 2013.
“The rate at which our universities are producing groundbreaking technologies is growing faster than ever,” Paul R. Sanberg, president of the inventors' academy, said in a statement.
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