UK Among Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted U.S. Patents in 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 16, 2021) — The University of Kentucky was named in the Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted U.S. Utility Patents in 2020 report released today by the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO). The report uses data obtained from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and highlights the vital role patents play in university research and innovation. 

Published annually since 2013, the report ranks the top 100 universities named as first assignee on utility patents granted by the USPTO in the 2020 calendar year. The full report can be found here.

A member institution of the NAI, UK ranked 96th, with 29 U.S. utility patents granted in 2020. UK filed 165 patent applications and held 742 worldwide patent assets in fiscal year 2020.

Taunya Phillips, director of the UK Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC), said, “OTC is thrilled to be ranked among the top 100 universities in the world for utility patents granted. We work closely with UK innovators, from all areas of campus, to identify and protect their novel discoveries and works. Being on this list signals to commercialization partners and research collaborators that we are a leading institution for innovation impact, which energizes us to continue to provide valuable expertise and service.

To search technologies available through OTC, visit their site.

“The institutions included in this year’s report are leading innovation worldwide through their encouragement of academic discovery and invention,” said Paul R. Sanberg, president of the NAI. “We are proud to collaborate with the IPO for the ninth consecutive year to highlight universities that have made critical contributions to society.” 

There are 55 Member Institutions of the NAI represented this year in the Top 100. They hold an aggregate total of 4,864 patents spanning a wide variety of fields, such as medicine, technology and engineering. The IPO Top 300 Patent Owners List, published annually since 1985, ranks organizations worldwide that received the most U.S. utility patents during the previous calendar year. This year's report on 2020 patents was published June 15, 2021. It lists the total number of patents for 2020's Top 100 universities (including U.S. and international universities) to be 7,734.

About the National Academy of Inventors

The National Academy of Inventors is a member organization comprising U.S. and international universities, and governmental and nonprofit research institutes, with over 4,000 individual inventor members and fellows spanning more than 250 institutions worldwide. It was founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students, and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society. The NAI works collaboratively with the USPTO and publishes the multidisciplinary journal, Technology and Innovation. More on NAI can be found here:

About the IPO

The Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) is a trade association for owners of patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. IPO is the only association in the U.S. that serves and advocates for all intellectual property owners in all industries and all fields of technology.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.