University of Pittsburgh
June 7, 2018

Pitt Rises to 21st in Annual Global Patent Ranking

The University also set a new record for startups

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh has continued its rise among the Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted U.S. Utility Patents.

A utility patent, or patent for invention, protects the rights of the creator of a new or improved product, process or machine. Pitt innovators were granted 94 such patents in calendar year 2017 to rank No. 21 worldwide, continuing a three-year ascent in the annual rankings. Pitt ranked No. 35 in the 2015 report and No. 27 in 2016.

The rankings, compiled by the National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association, are based on United States Patent and Trademark Office data. The report, which highlights the vital role patents play in university research and innovation, ranks the top 100 universities named as the first assignee on utility patents granted by the office. 

Patents issued in 2017 to Pitt innovators ranged from a compound for diagnosing Alzheimer's disease to a system for measuring sports motion to help improve a batter’s swing.

“Our continuing rise in these worldwide rankings is confirmation of the University’s commitment to the strategic goal of engaging in research of impact,” said Rob A. Rutenbar, Pitt’s senior vice chancellor for research. “Patenting the intellectual property that’s developed here at Pitt enables us to bring our important discoveries out of the lab to the market, where they can make a difference in the world.”  

Number of startups continues to climb

The University tracks its startups on a fiscal year basis, and with the June 30 end of FY 2018 still a few weeks away, Pitt already has set a new record for startups — 22 to date — exceeding FY 2017’s record of 15.

“Since its formation in 2013, our Innovation Institute has worked to strengthen the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship across the University,” said Innovation Institute interim director Evan Facher. “Pitt innovators increasingly are recognizing the value of translating their research, as these new records show, and with the University’s support the pipeline continues to fill. Our discoveries are key to building the region’s innovation ecosystem and to bringing new solutions to unmet needs across the globe.”