Rice University Ranks Among Top 100 U.S. Universities for Utility Patents

A new list published by the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) June 4 highlights Rice’s push for patenting its innovative research. With 14 utility patents issued in 2023 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Rice ranks among the Top 100 U.S. Universities Granted Utility Patents according to the NAI.

The NAI has published rankings since 2013, starting with its Top 100 Worldwide Universities list, and last year introduced its Top 100 U.S. Universities Granted Utility Patents ranking to provide a more focused view of the contributions made by U.S. academic institutions. At Rice, the Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) prepares and processes patent applications as well as tracking and reporting patents granted.

“This is a testament to our university’s commitment to innovation and research excellence that underscores not only our faculty’s significant contributions to technological advancements but also reflects the pride and dedication of our entire academic community,” said Paul Cherukuri, vice president of innovation at Rice.

Often referred to as a “patent for invention,” utility patents are issued for the creation of a new process, machine, manufacture or composition of matter. As Rice continues to invest in research, the university expects to see an increase in the number of patents granted in the coming years.

“As we look at the current and future state of innovation in our nation, we need to ensure that the U.S. is remaining competitive in the international innovation ecosystem,” said Paul R. Sanberg, NAI president. “Protecting intellectual property is a key component to this, and the Top 100 U.S. Universities list allows us to recognize and celebrate universities and their faculty, staff, and students who are not only innovating at high levels, but taking the additional step of protecting their IP through patenting.”

Together with the NAI’s list of the Top 60 Worldwide Non-profit Research Institutes and Government Agencies, which spotlights the role non-profit research institutions and government agencies play in advancing innovation around the world and driving the global economy, these rankings aim to provide a comprehensive view of intellectual property protection in the innovation ecosystem.