UC awarded 524 utility patents in 2017 — more than any other university

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For the sixth consecutive year, the University of California was awarded more U.S. utility patents than any other university in the world, according to the 2017 rankings from the National Academy of Inventors, or NAI, and the Intellectual Property Owners Association.

Claiming 524 utility patents for 2017, the ten UC campuses have continuously held first place by a margin more than 100 utility patents since the NAI’s first ranking in 2013. The rankings were compiled using data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, according to an NAI press release.

Collectively, the ten UC campuses account for a tenth of all academic research in the nation, according to UC Office of the President spokesperson Danielle Smith.

“This measure signifies the importance of UC as a driver of economic activity in California and the U.S., as well as the flourishing culture of innovation across all of our campuses and labs,” Smith said in an email.

The ranking measures utility patents, which can cover specific processes, machines or compositions of matter, separately from design patents, which protect the visual appearance of inventions. According to Smith, each utility patent is a “major step” toward translating research in a lab setting to the products and companies in the marketplace that “stimulate California’s economy and create new jobs.”

In the past fiscal year, UC Berkeley has received a “substantial” number of patents, including 92 U.S. patents and 125 foreign patents, according to campus spokesperson Robert Sanders. In June, the UC was also awarded two patents for CRISPR gene-editing technology, including one related to the improvement of human therapeutics and food security.

“We are thrilled by yet another indicator that the investments the people of California make in our campuses and national laboratories help drive California’s innovation engine,” said Randy Katz, campus vice chancellor for research, in an email.

Matthew Lo covers research and ideas. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @matthewlo_dc.