USF Research News

University of South Florida ranks 12th among universities worldwide for U.S. patents

June 11, 2014

USF is in the top 15 in the world for the fourth year in a row

TAMPA, Fla. – The University of South Florida ranks 12th in the world among universities granted U.S. utility patents in 2013, according to a new report released by the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO). The report, based on data obtained from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, recognizes the important role patents play in university research.

With 95 patents in 2013, USF ranked in the top 15 for the fourth year in a row among universities worldwide in generating new inventions.

"Innovation based on university technology continues to be a key factor in economic development," said Paul R. Sanberg, USF senior vice president for research and innovation. "The expansion of technology and innovation are fundamental to the success of a university. We are proud of our faculty, students and staff who are translating their research into patents and commercialization activities that benefit society as well as make an economic impact on Tampa Bay and the state of Florida."

The NAI and IPO compile the list each year 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 printed patent. See the full list of Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted Patents in 2013. PDF

The top 15 universities include: The University of California System, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tsinghua University (China), Stanford University, University of Texas, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), California Institute of Technology, Columbia University, Georgia Tech Research Corp, University of Michigan, University of Illinois, University of South Florida, National Taiwan University, University of Florida Research Foundation, Inc. (UF), and National Tsing Hua University (Taiwan).

The list includes both public and private universities worldwide. In addition to USF and UF, two other Florida universities are included in the ranking: University of Central Florida (UCF), ranked 38th with 51 patents, and Florida State University (FSU), ranked 43rd with 47 patents. When compared with U.S. public universities only, the four Florida universities on the Top 100 list all rank within the top 25 public universities as follows: USF 7th, UF 8th, UCF 18th and FSU 21st.

"University researchers and inventors are creators of new solutions to existing difficulties, and, as such, are vital to the advancement of technology," said Sanberg, who also serves as president of the NAI ( "Protection of this innovative property, through patenting, strengthens the creation of new industries and employment."

Concurrently, the IPO ( released their annual Top 300 Patent Owners list of organizations worldwide that received the most U.S. utility patents during 2013, a list that has been published by the IPO for 31 consecutive years. The top 13 universities on the Top 100 Universities list also appear in the Top 300 Patent Owners list. USF is the only Florida university on the 2013 Top 300 Patent Owners List. This year marks USF's third appearance on the list which includes such companies as IBM and Samsung. USF previously made the list for patents received in 2010 and 2011. See the 2013 Top 300 Patent Owners list. PDF

About University of South Florida
The University of South Florida is a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success. USF is a Top 50 research university among both public and private institutions nationwide in total research expenditures, according to the National Science Foundation. Serving nearly 48,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.5 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference and is a Charter Member Institution of the National Academy of Inventors.

Media contact: Judy Lowry,