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Office of the Vice President for Research

USC Ranks Among Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted U.S. Utility Patents in 2016

The University of South Carolina is among the Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted U.S. Utility Patents in 2016, for the fifth consecutive year. 

The annual top 100 report, which is published by the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO), uses data acquired from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to highlight the important role patents play in university research and innovation. The NAI and IPO 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. 

USC receives a consistent, high number of patents because of our people. ... 
— Bill Kirkland

USC has appeared in the top 100 report every year since it began in 2013. The 2016 report [pdf] ranks USC as 88 out of 100, with 28 patents filed during the 2016 calendar year. This falls in line with past years, as USC has averaged just over 28 annual patents since 2012.

USC, South Carolina’s premier Carnegie tier-one institution of “highest research activity,” is the only South Carolina university to appear in the 2016 list. It is in prestigious company, ranking higher than Ivy League Dartmouth College (ranked 97, with 25 patents) and tying with world-renowned Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

USC Vice President for Research, Prakash Nagarkatti, credits USC faculty innovation for the institution’s patent successes. “The high number of patents our faculty members receive serves as a strong sign of the innovation powering research at USC. We have also seen consistent growth in research and sponsored awards, which totaled more than $250 million in 2016. Taken together, these two indicators place USC squarely among the nation’s top research and innovation institutions.”

“USC receives a consistent, high number of patents because of our people, from the cutting-edge researchers making valuable discoveries to the hardworking staff in the Technology Commercialization Office who do such a great job helping USC inventors secure their intellectual property,” noted Office of Economic Engagement Executive Director Bill Kirkland. “Without their dedication, talent and skills, we would not be able to continue to land on this prestigious list year after year.”


7 June 2017

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