KFUPM ranks 4th among 100 worldwide universities granted US Utility Patents


Saudi Gazette report

King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) ranked fourth among top 100 worldwide universities granted US Utility Patents in 2018.

The annual ranking was made by the American National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) in terms of the number of patents registered in the United States for the year 2017.

NAI and IPO have announced their seventh annual report on trends within academic patenting, based on data from the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and the report highlights the vital role patents play in university research and innovation.

The report, published annually since 2013, ranks the top 100 universities named as the first assignee on utility patents granted by the USPTO in the 2018 calendar year.

“The patents our universities produce represent important processes and collaborations which have the potential to make a significant impact on society on a local, regional, national and global scale,” said Paul R. Sanberg, president of the NAI.

“We are honored to partner with the IPO in recognizing the top academic patent holders through this report for the seventh consecutive year.”

KFUPM comes next to three American universities, which bagged the first three ranks. They are the University of California System, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Stanford University.

The National Academy of Inventors is a member organization comprising US and international universities, governmental and non-profit research institutes, and federal agencies with over 4,000 individual inventor members and Fellows spanning more than 250 institutions.

It was founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the US Patent and Trademark Office. IPO, established in 1972, is a trade association for owners of patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. IPO is the only association in the US that serves all intellectual property owners in all industries and all fields of technology.

Expressing happiness over the remarkable achievement, Dr. Sahl Abdul Jawad, president of KFUPM, said that the university has made a giant leap in the field of innovation.

“Having only five patents in 2005, the university’s ranking shot up to become among the top four universities in the world in the number of patents in 2018. This was the result of building an integrated innovation system that includes focusing on the quality of the research process and linking it to a roadmap for the production of technologies designed by the university, and a close link between research and graduate activities and patent disclosures,” he said.

He noted that the programs developed by the university to support and stimulate innovation; the establishment of a state-of-the-art office for the registration of intellectual property; the marketing and transfer of technology following the best pattern of the American universities, and the establishment of Dhahran Technology Park as the world’s largest conglomerate of oil and gas research centers, had also contributed to score this achievement.

Abdul Jawad said that the university began to appear in the lists of major producers of patents since 2011, when it was ranked 55th in the world, and continued to jump, reaching the 13th rank in 2015 and 7th in 2017.

“The achievement is a result of the strategic methodology and future vision developed by the university to meet the challenges of modern civilization, and meet the requirements of social and economic development, and provide a fertile environment for creativity and innovation, which is a major goal of the Vision 2030,” he added.

Dr. Nasser Al-Aqili, vice president for applied studies and research at the university, said that the success of the university did not stop at the registration of patents, but it was keen to license and market them to contribute to supporting the national economy through industrial or commercial entities working on transforming the university's innovations into technical products that support the national economy.

“The university has licensed a number of innovations and connected to the global markets through alliances with international bodies and there are a number of local and international startup companies founded on the basis of patents from the university,” he added.