Photo of the CWRU sign on the corner of Euclid Avenue and Adelbert Road

Case Western Reserve ranks 21st in the world for U.S. utility patents

A report released this morning puts Case Western Reserve 21st among 100 world universities receiving U.S. utility patents last year.

Based on data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the compilation shows that CWRU secured 105 patents in calendar year 2020—more than double the number it earned in 2016.

The tally also put this campus ahead of Cornell University (25th), Duke University (30th), and Vanderbilt University (35th).

“Advancing research and discovery are core elements of our mission,” Interim President Scott Cowen said. “This report highlights our faculty’s strengths in innovation, and the university’s commitment to protecting their pioneering concepts and inventions.”

The Top 100 list is compiled and released by the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO).

In simplest terms, the USPTO awards utility patents based what an idea or invention does, or how it is used. The other kind of patent the office grants is a design patent, which instead focuses on an item’s appearance or look. While only a small percentage of patented items actually reach the market, the protections that patents provide represent a critical step toward engaging investors and entities.

In recent months the Case Western Reserve community has seen several promising examples of commercialization progress. emerge from its commercialization efforts:

  • In March, the international biopharmaceutical company Amgen acquired a biotech start-up based on research from CWRU’s medical school and the University of Texas Southwestern.
  • Also in March, the national education technology and consulting group EAB bought Wisr, a company co-founded by a 2009 graduate to help high school students find the right campus for them—and college students connect with potential employers.
  • And in May a robotic manufacturing company with roots at Sears think[box] and LaunchNET attracted $56 million in new investment.