LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas ranked 87th in the world last year among universities receiving U.S. utility patents.
KU was granted 30 such patents in 2017, according to a report by the National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association. It’s the university’s highest ranking in this area since 2014.
KU had the third-highest total among Big 12 institutions, trailing only the University of Texas and Iowa State University.
KU now holds 240 U.S. patents and has 146 other U.S. patent applications pending.
“The University of Kansas is committed to improving society through translational research, and patents are an important measure of our productivity in this area,” said Rodolfo Torres, interim vice chancellor for research. “We are pleased to be ranked among the top institutions in this measure, and we will continue our efforts to translate KU research into products and services that improve the world.”
Patents issued to KU represent innovations from across the Lawrence and KU Medical Center campuses. These patents represent KU’s varied research excellence in such areas as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, engineering, health sciences and information technology.
KU’s research commercialization efforts are headed by the KU Center for Technology Commercialization, which manages the university’s bi-campus technology transfer and intellectual property functions.
“Being among the top universities for U.S. patents is a notable accomplishment for KU,” said Rick Barohn, vice chancellor for research at KU Medical Center. “But more important than any ranking, we want to continue encouraging our faculty, staff and students to engage in research that results in invention disclosures with market potential.”
This is the second time in six months KU has made headlines with the National Academy of Inventors. In December 2017, Cory Berkland, Solon E. Summerfield Distinguished Professor in the departments of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Chemical & Petroleum Engineering, was named an NAI Fellow, one of the highest honors for an academic inventor. Berkland became the fourth KU professor to earn the honor.