Today, LexisNexis published a ranking of China’s top 20 most innovative universities based on their patent assets. Analysts at LexisNexis have identified these top universities as sorted by the Patent Asset Index™.
Ranking of global technological innovative strength and influence according to the Patent Asset Index™
Among Chinese universities, Tsinghua University heads the ranking of global technological innovative strength and influence according to the Patent Asset Index. Taking into account not only the quantity but also the quality of active protected patents, the Patent Asset Index is an objective IP benchmarking measure for the innovative strength of an organization, a specific business area, or an entire technology field. The method has been developed and validated in scientific research and has been used for several years by leading companies in many industries. Numerous corporations trust the Patent Asset Index to illustrate the strength of their patent portfolios in annual shareholder reports and other stakeholder communications. It is also used by the European Commission to validate merger cases, such as that between Dow and DuPont in 2017.
Out of the top 20 universities, Tsinghua University is ranked highest with a Patent Asset Index of 21.776, followed by Zhejiang University (12.126) and South China University of Technology (9.916). Tsinghua University has a patent portfolio of 27.411 patent families active around the world. With more than ten percent of their Patent Asset Index belonging to patents assigned to the IPC group H04L 12, which covers technologies for electric communication. Other strong technology fields of Tsinghua University include carbon and carbon compounds, which are used in nanotechnology, and processes and apparatus for the manufacture of semiconductors, e.g. for the production of thermal interface material.
Top research areas of the top 20 most innovative Chinese universities by Patent Asset Index™
For 8 out of the top 20 universities, the top IPC group is G06F 17, which covers digital computing and data processing. This IPC group also accounts for more than 4% of the total Patent Asset Index of the top 20 most innovative Chinese universities.
Innovation areas of top 20 Chinese universities
In terms of external research collaboration, Tsinghua University co-owns patents with a number of corporations and research institutes. In this, most of their co-owned patents are the result of their collaboration with the electronics manufacturer Foxconn. Tsinghua University also co-owns patents with other organizations, but the 1.405 active families co-owned with Foxconn have the highest Patent Asset Index (2.933) and thus account for more than ten percent of the university’s overall portfolio strength.
Share of patent families co-owned with industry-collaborators in total portfolio strength of China's top 20 innovative universities by Patent Asset Index™
One major technology field covered by the collaboration between Tsinghua University and Foxconn is carbon compounds (IPC: C01B 31) which, as mentioned above, is one of the university’s strongest technology fields.
Lastly, it is worth noting that most of the 20 top innovative Chinese universities co-own patents with the state-owned electric utility companies State Grid and China Southern Power. These patents cover various technologies related to power generation, such as circuit arrangements.
While most of the universities cooperate with various Asia-based industries, there is as yet little cooperation with Western industries. One exception is Shanghai Jiao Tong University, which co-owns a handful of patent families with General Motors – however, these patent families only account for 0,4% of the university’s portfolio strength (not shown).
Nevertheless, with its huge portfolio strength, Tsinghua University is ranked 65 within the top 100 strongest patent owners worldwide as of Patent Asset Index and thus higher than, e.g., Continental, Dell Technologies, or Amazon.
The Patent Asset Index™
PatentSight’s Patent Asset Index serves as measure of the overall strength of a patent portfolio. This is the sum of the Competitive Impact™ of the individual patent families contained in a portfolio. The Competitive Impact, in turn, derives from the citation-based Technology Relevance™ multiplied by the Market Coverage™ which measures patent protection around the globe using the potential economic value (GNI) of each country.
A key feature of PatentSight is ownership harmonization. Their team, including English, German, Chinese, Korean and Japanese speakers, is able to view original patent documents without having to rely on machine translations provided by patent offices. This process is key to accurate owner data as without this, multiple different owners have an identical translation in English. The harmonization procedure further includes corporate structure information to accurately include the IP of subsidiaries under their parent company, i.e., the ultimate owner.
LexisNexis IP根据中国领先高校的专利资产，按照专利资产指数Patent Asset Index™进行排名，于今日公布位列前20名最具创新力高校榜单。
以专利资产指数来看， 清华大学以最强全球技术创新实力和影响力，位居众多中国高校榜首。专利资产指数Patent Asset Index不仅考量专利的数量，同时也考量所持有效专利的质量，客观的评价某组织、某特定商业领域或某技术领域的整体创新能力。
此评价方法经过科学验证，已为全球领先企业、学术机构、政府机构所认可及应用多年。许多大型公司高度信任专利资产指数的评价方法和结果，在年度财报和其他投资人沟通中应用此评价体系展示其专利强度。欧盟委员会使用专利资产指数Patent Asset Index审查并购，如2017年杜邦陶氏公司的并购案。
在这20所高校中，清华大学[i]以专利资产指数21,776位居榜首，浙江大学以12,126位居第二，紧跟的则是得分9,916的华南理工大学。于统计当日，清华大学在全球范围拥有27,411个有效专利家族，其中超过10%高质量专利皆属于IPC分类号H04 L 12电信技术领域（Electric communication）。清华大学专利强力占领的其他技术领域包括可用于纳米技术的“碳及其化合物”（Carbon and carbon compounds），以及可用于生产热介面材料的“用于制造半导体的工艺和设备”（ Processes and apparatus for the manufacture of semiconductors）等。
在这位列前20的高校中有8所高校其首要IPC技术领域为G06F 17--数字计算和数据处理（Digital computing and data processing）。 该IPC占中国20所最具创新力高校的专利资产总指数的4％以上。
在与外部合作研究方面，清华大学与众多企业和研究机构共同持有诸多专利。其中，相当一部分是与富士康的合作成果[ii]。虽然清华大学有诸多共同持有专利的合作伙伴，但其与富士康共同持有的1,405个有效专利家族具最高专利资产指数评分（2,933），这部分的专利占清华大学近十分之一的整体专利组合强度。在清华-富士康合作关系中一项主要的技术领域是先前所提及的“碳及其化合物” （Carbon and carbon compounds，IPC分类号为C01 B31），而这正是清华大学所深入研究和占领的技术领域之一。
从以上分析不难看出，大多数中国领先高校与国内各行业企业已达成合作，与国外企业的合作甚少。 排名第七的上海交通大学与通用汽车公司共同拥有少量专利家族 ，仅占该高校总体专利强度的0.4％（以上图中未显示）。
专利资产指数Patent Asset Index™
PatentSight 独特的数据规范化团队彻查当前专利所有权数据，确保数据质量业界领先。 团队成员具英语、德语、中文、韩语和日语能力，可直接查看原始专利文件，无需依赖专利局提供的机器翻译。 此过程对于准确的专利所有权状态至关重要， 以人工阅读规避机器翻译的典型错误-如多个专利权人有可能被翻译成相同的英文名称。规范化程序还包括规范公司结构信息，准确地涵盖母公司下的子公司知识产权，以最终所有者为准。