Global Patent Leaders

American universities continue to dominate in numbers of applications, but submissions from other countries are going up.

March 23, 2015

American universities applied for far more international patents than those of other countries in 2014, according to a report released Friday by the World International Patent Organization.

Major telecom companies from China and the United States filed the most applications over all, and only one university (the University of California system) makes the top 50 of global patent applicants. But the rankings of universities are a reflection of tech transfer programs. Despite concerns that American universities may be losing ground to those of other countries, 9 of the top 10 universities are American. But in the next 10, 6 are from outside the United States, and appear to be increasing their number of applications at faster rates than their American counterparts.

The following table shows the top 20 educational institutions in patent applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty. Several of the institutions listed here are university systems, not individual campuses. The full table may be found here.

International Patent Applications, 2014

Rank Among Universities Rank Among All Applicants University Number of applications
1 47 U. of California system 413
2 83 Massachusetts Institute of Technology 234
3 132 U. of Texas System 154
4 145 Harvard U. 147
5 163 Johns Hopkins U. 135
6 201 Stanford U. 113
7 206 Columbia U. 112
8 225 California Institute of Technology 103
9 249 U. of Pennsylvania 94
10 253 Seoul National U. (South Korea) 92
11 275 Cornell U. 87
12 290 Nanyang Technological U. (Singapore) 82
13 293 U. of Florida 81
13 293 Kyoto U. (Japan) 81
13 293 Danmarks Tekniske U. (Denmark) 81
16 304 U. of Tokyo (Japan) 79
17 305 U. of Michigan 78
18 312 Korea University (South Korea) 77
19 314 Peking University (China) 76
20 325 U. of Washington 74





Be the first to know.
Get our free daily newsletter.


We have retired comments and introduced Letters to the Editor. Share your thoughts »

Today’s News from Inside Higher Ed

Inside Higher Ed’s Quick Takes

Back to Top