Application fields and active protection - A closer look at the top 20 Universities and Research centers

Posted by William Mansfield on Jan 11, 2019 3:53:59 PM

For a study commissioned by IAM, PatentSight has taken a closer look at the patenting activity of leading universities and research centers based on the Patent Asset IndexTM.

The 20 highest performing research centers and universities from selected jurisdictions (US, China, Japan, Germany, France, UK and Switzerland) were examined, capped at three per country and two from Switzerland.


Ranking of overall strength of patent portfolios

Patent Asset Index


Larger Portfolios in China, quality focus in the US and Europe

Those in the US and China have a higher Patent Asset Index, however this primarily results from having larger portfolios. On average the European and American owners have a greater proportion of patents in the top 10% of patents worldwide, with most deriving more than 80% of their Patent Asset Index from these top 10% patents. Whereas the Chinese derive around 30% and the Japanese around 55%. This is consistent with the regions in general, with the US and Europe moving to a quality focus first, followed more recently by the Japanese, and is only just starting in China.


Patent Asset Index top 10


DNA engineering at the forefront: Top IPC groups for leading Universities and Research centers

The University of California, which is ranked top in the set, has a portfolio covering a wide array of technologies from DNA engineering to Semiconductors to Telecommunications. Conversely MIT and Harvard derive a significant proportion of their total Patent Asset Index from DNA engineering, the majority of which comes from recent innovations related to CRISPR. The remainder of the set can be split into two categories, biological applications or modern computing, one outlier here is Fraunhofer which also derives the majority of its Patent Asset Index from Speech or audio analysis, something none of the others in our set appear to be actively exploring.


Top IPC group for each owner


Europeans protect their portfolios in the US

As you might expect American, Japanese and Chinese owners in the set mostly protect only in their home country. However, looking at the Europeans we see a much greater level of protection outside of their home authority, and even outside of Europe. There is a significant share of the Europeans portfolio protected in the US particularly, typically more than 60%, nearly as much as the American owners in our set.


Share of owners total portfolio size active in given authorities

Topics: Technology Science Innovation Patent Asset Index