USF, UF Earn High Worldwide Rankings for Patents (Tampa Bay News)

USF, UF Earn High Worldwide Rankings for Patents

Jim O'Connell, leader of UF Innovate and Tech Licensing, which seeks patents for UF's intellectual property
Jim O’Connell, leader of UF Innovate and Tech Licensing, which seeks patents for UF’s intellectual property

The University of Florida and the University of South Florida ranked among the top 15 schools in the world to be granted U.S. utility patents last year, according to a new report.

The University of Florida ranked at No. 11 with 140 awarded and USF came in at No. 15 with 123 — a record number for the school.

Jim O’Connell, assistant vice president and head of UF Innovate, said areas like the Silicon Valley and Boston, known for innovation, are largely driven by their universities. He believes universities in Florida could do the same for the state.

But the number of patents a university is awarded, he said, is not the best measure of a university’s contributions.

“The real question is what do you do with that,” O’Connell said. “It’s great that you do this stuff but if the patent just sits on the shelf and never gets commercialized, it doesn’t even serve the basic function of a patent.”

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