Published on 6/12/18 in the Baltimore Business Journal

Johns Hopkins University and University of Maryland, College Park were among the schools to earn the most patents for university-born inventions and technologies last year.

The National Academy of Inventors and Intellectual Property Owners Association have ranked the top 100 universities across the globe by how many U.S. utility patents were granted to each in the 2017 calendar year. Utility patents covers the invention of a new or improved product, process or machine. The rankings are based on data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Johns Hopkins ranked at No. 7 in 2017, with 164 patents. The school has ranked in the top 10 since 2014. That year, it boasted 140 patents, followed by 143 in 2015 and 167 in 2016.

The university’s intellectual property is managed by Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures, which serves as the licensing, patent and technology commercialization office for Johns Hopkins-affiliated researchers and inventors. Tech transfer has proven lucrative for the institution. In fiscal year 2016 alone, Tech Ventures had 2,677 active patents and received more than 500 invention disclosures. Those inventions generated $58 million in licensing revenue.

More than 22 startup companies have also been spun out of Hopkins research and technologies.

“University patents help to ignite a culture of growth and innovation which in turn stimulates local, regional, and global economies and generates funding for future research initiatives,” Mark W. Lauroesch, executive director of the Intellectual Property Owners Association, said in a statement. “[The report] demonstrates the critical role universities play in patents, licensing and commercialization.”

The University of Maryland ranked at No. 48, with 51 patents in 2017 — tied with École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland, National Taiwan University and Yale University.

The University of California System ranked at No. 1 last year with 524 utility patents. The system includes 10 separate campuses. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Texas System, Stanford University and Tsinghua University in China round out the top five.