In 2013, the University of South Carolina secured 29 utility patents to protect our researchers' inventions, giving them exclusive rights to make, use and commercialize the 29 innovative devices and processes covered by these patents, for up to 20 years. Impressive as they are, these 29 patents have earned us bragging rights to yet another number, 68, which is USC's ranking among the top 100 worldwide universities granted U.S. utility patents in 2013. This represents a significant improvement over Carolina's 2012 ranking of 77 (with 25 patents), and paves the way for more Gamecock innovations.
This exciting new honor was announced earlier this month by the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO), which compile the top-100 list each year, based on U.S. Patent and Trademark Office data. Carolina, the Palmetto State's only tier-one Carnegie institution, and the only S.C. university to appear on the list, is in prestigious company there, with a higher ranking than Ivy League institutions Yale and Princeton (ranked 89 and 91 respectively).
USC's Vice President for Research, Prakash Nagarkatti commented, "Our faculty have generated more than $200 million in research funding annually over the past six years, and this success translates into innovation, disclosures and patents, as our prestigious ranking attests." Bill Kirkland, Executive Director for the Office of Economic Engagement credits a great deal of USC's intellectual property success to the people who help make it happen: "The outstanding Office of Economic Engagement team helps faculty file patents and commercialize their discoveries. They play an important role on the USC research and commercialization stage, making honors like this one possible."