USF Research News

USF Ranks Ninth Nationally Among Public Universities for U.S. Patents Awarded

July 12, 2016

USF ranks as a top 10 public university for the sixth year in a row

patent wall

TAMPA, Fla. – The University of South Florida ranks ninth in the nation among public universities for U.S. patents granted in 2015, according to a new report released Tuesday by the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO).

USF, with 90 patents for 2015, has now ranked among the top 10 public universities in the U.S. for the past six years in generating new inventions. USF patents granted in 2015 represented a diverse range of technologies including pharmaceutical drug delivery, solar energy, medical devices, nanotechnology and specialized electronics.

"The research that is being done by USF faculty, students and staff leads to innovations that help solve society's most pressing problems," said USF System President Judy Genshaft. “In this way, USF is making a meaningful, tangible impact on the Tampa Bay community, the state of Florida and the world."

The NAI/IPO report utilizes data acquired from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to highlight the important role patents play in university research and innovation.

The number of patents awarded is an important measure of institutional prominence and productivity, as evidenced by the inclusion of this metric in the Florida Legislature's Preeminent State Research University Program, among other key excellence indicators. USF was recently designated as an "emerging preeminent" institution after meeting a critical threshold of those benchmarks, including patents awarded, and expects to reach full preeminence status in the next two years.

"USF has a strong focus on translating the inventive work of our faculty into products and processes that benefit society and support economic prosperity for our region," said Paul R. Sanberg, USF senior vice president for research, innovation and economic development, who also serves as president of the NAI. "Patents are often a first step in the commercialization process that ultimately develops the economy and creates jobs." USF is the founding Charter Member Institution of the NAI.

USF is one of three Florida universities included in this year’s rankings, along with the University of Florida and the University of Central Florida. This group, which represents the Florida High Tech Corridor region, collectively had 245 issued U.S. patents in 2015, surpassing the 131 patents issued to the "Research Triangle" universities, which consist of the University of North Carolina, Duke University and North Carolina State University, and the 241 patents awarded to the "Silicon Hills" universities which include the University of Texas System, Texas A&M University and Rice University.

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 lists a university as the first assignee on the printed patent. See the full report of the Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted Patents in 2015 (PDF).

About the IPO

The Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO), established in 1972, is a trade association for owners of patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. IPO is the only association in the U.S. that serves all intellectual property owners in all industries and all fields of technology. IPO advocates for effective and affordable IP ownership rights and provides a wide array of services to members, including: supporting member interests relating to legislative and international issues; analyzing current IP issues; information and educational services; and disseminating information to the general public on the importance of intellectual property rights.

About the National Academy of Inventors

The National Academy of Inventors is a 501(c)(3) non-profit member organization comprising U.S. and international universities, and governmental and non-profit research institutes, with over 3,000 individual inventor members and Fellows spanning more than 200 institutions, and growing rapidly. It was founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, 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 publishes the multidisciplinary journal, Technology and Innovation, Journal of the National Academy of Inventors.

About the University of South Florida

The University of South Florida is a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success. USF is a Top 25 research university among public institutions nationwide in total research expenditures, according to the National Science Foundation. Serving over 48,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.6 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference.

Media Contact: Adam Freeman, 813-974-9047,