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University of Tennessee Among Top Universities in World Granted Patents

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UT Research Foundation

KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee ranks among the top universities in the world that were granted U.S. utility patents in 2017, according to a report released Tuesday by the National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association.

The UT Research Foundation, which filed patents for technology discovered across the UT System, had 25 patents granted in 2017, ranking UT 98th on the top 100 list. This is the third year that UT has made the list since the rankings began in 2013. UT made the top 100 list in 2013, when it ranked 80th with 26 patents, and 2014, when it ranked 91st with 24 patents.

The UT Research Foundation is a nonprofit organization that promotes the commercialization of UT intellectual property, encourages an entrepreneurial culture, contributes to state and regional economic development and promotes research and education to benefit the people of Tennessee and beyond.

“The University of Tennessee’s inclusion on this list demonstrates that our researchers across the state are amongst the best in the world at developing novel solutions with potential commercial outcomes,” Stacey Patterson, UT vice president for research, outreach and economic development and president of the UT Research Foundation, said. “We are as committed to the protection of these valuable discoveries as we are to developing a culture that promotes the dissemination of this work for the betterment of society.”

The report, based on data obtained from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, recognizes the important role patents play in university research. The organizations compile the rankings each year by calculating the number of utility patents granted by the patent office that list a university as the first assignee on the printed patent.

About the University of Tennessee

The University of Tennessee is a statewide system of higher education with campuses in Knoxville, Chattanooga, Martin and Memphis; the UT Space Institute in Tullahoma; the UT Institute of Agriculture with a presence in every Tennessee county; and the statewide Institute for Public Service. The UT system manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory through its UT-Battelle partnership; enrolls about 50,000 students statewide; produces about 10,000 new graduates every year; and represents more than 370,000 alumni around the world.

For more information about the UT Research Foundation, visit

About the National Academy of Inventors

The National Academy of Inventors is a member organization comprising U.S. and international universities and governmental and non-profit research institutes, with over 4,000 individual inventor members and Fellows spanning more than 250 institutions, and growing rapidly. Its mission is to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the USPTO, enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society.

About the IPO

The Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO), established in 1972, is a trade association for owners of patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. IPO is the only association in the U.S. that serves all intellectual property owners in all industries and all fields of technology. IPO advocates for effective and affordable IP ownership rights and provides a wide array of services to members, including: supporting member interests relating to legislative and international issues; analyzing current IP issues; information and educational services; and disseminating information to the general public on the importance of intellectual property rights.


Jennifer Sicking

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Category: Research