What are the universities patenting?

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

The percentage of utility patents issued to U.S. universities is relatively small: around 4 percent. Nevertheless, it is still interesting to see what the universities are patenting; it’s definitely the right place to look for bleeding-edge technology.

Another thing that should pique our interest is that the percentage mentioned above is on the rise. It’s now at 4.3 percent, compared to just 3.7 percent in 2011.

The University of California is the undisputed leader in the total number of patents. According to their own press release from 2005, an average of three new patents were issued here each day. However, this number seems to be decreasing, and its lead over the second-place MIT appears to be shrinking.

So, what major technologies are universities are interested in? Of course, that’s a lot of data to process and visualize, so we’ll limit ourselves to the top five schools by the total number of new patents issued, as well as only five major technology classes.

Here’s the breakdown:

top university technologies

The profiles are evident from this chart: the University of Texas, for example, focuses on drugs and bio-affecting compositions, while the University of California seems to be on the forefront of solid-state device technology.

MIT, at the same time, shows the greatest diversity — all of the key technologies combined amount to just over a quarter of all patents issued.

Finally, here’s a tag cloud based on the words that are comparatively more common to patents with academic origins. It was created using the standard bag-of-words feature extraction methods (and drawn with some help from wordle.net).

universities tag cloud



Discuss this article on our forum with over 1,900,000 registered members.

About Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

Andrey Kamenov is a data scientist working for Advameg Inc. His background includes teaching statistics, stochastic processes and financial mathematics in Moscow State University and working for a hedge fund. His academic interests range from statistical data analysis to optimal stopping theory. Andrey also enjoys his hobbies of photography, reading and powerlifting.

Other posts by Andrey Kamenov:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *