University Biotech Patenting 2013

At IP Checkups, we believe that patent data is quite possibly the business world’s most underutilized source of publicly-available information.  As part of our efforts to bring this rich repository of knowledge into common usage, we recently partnered with Nature Biotechnology to study biotech patenting at universities and public research institutions. Our collaborative report, “University Biotech Patenting 2013,” published in the June edition of Nature Biotechnology, ranks academic institutions by the sum total of their U.S. and European biotech-related patent assets. Read the entire report on the Nature website.

After completing this report, we at IP Checkups were proud to discover that our team members’ undergraduate alma maters are well-represented in this list. Managing Director Matt Rappaport attended the University of Wisconsin, which is the world’s second-most prolific biotech-patenting academic institution, according to our metrics. Director of Research Kathryn Paisner, a former Banana Slug, is similarly delighted to see that the University of California system once again ranks at the top of this list.

Ranking institutions in terms of their patent assets provides some insight into the success of their commercialization efforts, but, like any other ranking system, this analysis is not without its faults. Illustrating one of the limitations of this particular metric, Kathryn’s graduate institution, the University of Oregon, does not rank highly in biotech patenting. The UO’s absence from the “Top Institutions” list, however, should not undermine the exceptional quality of research produced at this school — or at any other institution that also failed to make the cut. Fundamental science is not always easy to commercialize, but we would still be living in the Dark Ages without it. Go Ducks!

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