The University of New Mexico is among the Top 100 Worldwide Universities granted U.S. utility patents in 2016 at No. 33.

The “Top 100 Worldwide Universities that received the most U.S. utility patents,” a report published annually since 2013 by the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO), uses data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to highlight the important role patents play in university research and innovation.

Lisa Kuuttila, STC.UNM CEO

Lisa Kuuttilla, STC.UNM CEO

“Since 2013 when we were 56th among the top 100, we’ve climbed at a steady pace," said Lisa Kuuttila, CEO & chief economic development officer of STC.UNM, the University’s technology-transfer and economic-development organization. “Universities and university inventors are innovators and drivers of economic growth. There is no question that the patents received each year by UNM inventors are a confirmation of the research quality and market potential of their new discoveries."

“We made a significant leap this year to 33rd in the world from 2015’s ranking of 47th."

The rankings are compiled by calculating the number of utility patents granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that list a university as the first assignee on the issued patent. 

"The patents are equally important because they protect the inventors’ intellectual property rights," Kuuttila said. "Our patented technologies are essential to the companies who want to license them and to our start-up companies who need investors to help them bring these new technologies to the marketplace. This relationship between patents and commercialization activity has an undeniable positive impact on local and global economies.

"We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to our UNM inventors. They are our unsung heroes and are the reason we continue to do so well among institutions around the world.”

The full report is available at: Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted U.S. Utility Patents in 2016.

In context:

The Albuquerque Journal combined this achievement with UNM's recent high ranking in technology transfers for U.S. universities, and quoted Kuuttila:

“We are now ranked among the top universities worldwide in both the number of issued patents and overall technology transfer rankings. This is significant because we are a midsize research university, smaller than many of those who rank below us.”

The Journal article by Kevin Robinson-Avila notes: “UNM received 69 patents in fiscal year 2016, which ended last June. That marked a 10-year peak in annual patents awarded to UNM by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, up from just 11 in FY 2007. So far this year, the university has received another 67 patents.”

CHTM facility storefront

UNM’s Center for High Technology Materials (CHTM) plays a vital role in UNM's research innovation. At the date of this article, 195 U.S. Patents have been awarded to CHTM faculty. CHTM patents account for approximately 35% of STC.UNM’s entire portfolio of U.S. patents (including patents awarded to the UNM Health Sciences Center). 38% of CHTM faculty patents have been licensed for commercialization.