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USM Ranks in Top 20 of Patent-Earning Institutions Worldwide

UMD Leads System’s Total, With 65 of 98 Patents Awarded in 2021

By Sara Gavin

Gate at south campus commons with an M

From flowering patio furniture to groundbreaking medical diagnostics, battery chemistry and agricultural devices, innovations from University of Maryland researchers made the university a leader nationwide in the number of patents secured last year.

Photo by Stephanie S. Cordle

When it comes to converting research into issued patents, a new report ranks the University of Maryland among the most intellectually fertile institutions in the country.

Together with other schools in the University System of Maryland (USM), the university ranks 20th in the world and 10th among U.S. public institutions for patents awarded in 2021, according to the report released yesterday by the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO). This is the highest ranking USM has earned in this annual report, which was first issued in 2013.

According to the report, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) last year granted a total of 98 patents to five USM institutions, 65 of which are held by the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP). This marks a significant improvement from 2020, when USM schools received a total of 88 patents and ranked 24th globally.

The total number of patents connected to USM innovators in 2021 was actually 114, according to a count by UM Ventures, a joint initiative between UMCP and the University of Maryland, Baltimore to commercialize discoveries and create economic impact by engaging partners in industry and social ventures. In the ranking, NAI and IPO only credited the institutions listed first on each patent, resulting in a lower official total.

“This recognition by NAI and IPO is a signal of the health and growth of the innovative ecosystem we are so proud of in Maryland,” said Ken Porter, director of UM Ventures, College Park. “Transforming university research into patented technologies, products and services is key to our commitment to propelling the state fearlessly forward.”

Innovations developed by UMCP researchers that received patents in 2021, include:

  • The technology and methodology behind Living Umbrellas—vegetation canopies invented by environmental science and technology Associate Professor David Tilley and colleagues—which can be found around campus and in the city of College Park.
  • The use of multispecific antibodies targeting the human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) for treatment and prevention of HIV infection, developed by Yuxing Li, a Professor at the Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research.
  • A new device for analyzing living cells, which could lead to improved cancer diagnoses and treatments, developed by Minta Martin Professor of Engineering Christopher Jewell and colleagues.
  • A portfolio of technologies developed by chemical and biomolecular engineering Professor Chunsheng Wang and colleagues to make more stable aqueous and hybrid electrolytes to be used in lithium battery production.
  • A pressure sensor system designed for impact detection on objects like body armor and helmets, invented by UMCP President Darryll J. Pines and Byungseok Yoo, an associate research scientist in aerospace engineering.
  • A machine invented by Fischell Department of Bioengineering Professor Yang Tao and colleagues that can automatically remove stems and calyxes (the outer, green and leaf-like parts of a flower that enclose a developing bud) from strawberries.

The Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted U.S. Utility Patents ranks the top 100 universities named as the first assignee on utility patents granted by the USPTO in each calendar year. More information about patents and innovations at the University of Maryland is available on the UM Ventures website.



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