UH Makes Top 100 in Global Rankings for Issued Patents

Rankings Reflect Emphasis on Moving Research into the Marketplace

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The University of Houston is among the Top 100 global universities for granted U.S. utility patents in 2016.

The rankings, published by the National Academy of Inventors and Intellectual Property Owners Association, use data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to highlight the role patents play in university research and innovation.

The University of Houston System was one of three public university systems in Texas to make the list. It is tied with Osaka University in Suita, Japan, and the University of Georgia Research Foundation for No. 91, with 27 utility patents granted in 2016.

The rankings cover utility patents, which account for about 90 percent of all patents issued and are issued for a new and useful process, machine, manufacture or composition of matter, or a new and useful improvement of previous versions, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The University of California System topped the list, with 505 patents issued, followed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with 278.

Among Texas schools, the University of Texas System ranked No. 8, with 162 patents, Rice University ranked No. 68 with 37 patents, and the Texas A&M University system ranked No. 72, with 35 patents.

Ramanan Krishnamoorti, interim vice president/vice chancellor for research and technology transfer at UH, said the rankings reflect the increased attention the University has placed on moving research from the lab to the marketplace. Royalty income for UH was $28.3 million in 2016, up from $1.1 million in 2008 and the most for any U.S. public university without a medical school.

“Research conducted at academic institutions around the world long has served as the foundation of transformational ideas and technologies, but universities now are placing a greater emphasis on playing an active role in solving societal problems,” Krishnamoorti said.

The National Academy of Inventors and Intellectual Property Owners Association have published the report annually since 2013. The rankings are compiled by calculating the number of utility patents granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office which list a university as the first assignee on the issued patent. 

The full report of the Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted U.S. Utility Patents in 2016 can be found at the Academy of Inventors website.