Again this year, Dartmouth is on the list of the top 100 universities in the world granted U.S. utility patents. The new list was announced by the National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association. The report uses data obtained from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and highlights the vital role patents play in university research and innovation.
Published annually since 2013, the report ranks the top 100 universities named as the first assignee on utility patents granted by the patent office in the 2019 calendar year. This year, 57 national academy member institutions, including Dartmouth, are on the top 100 list, with a collective total of 4,685 U.S. utility patents.
Dartmouth is dedicated to developing its entrepreneurial ecosystem, says Associate Provost for Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer Eric Fossum, the John H. Krehbiel Sr. Professor for Emerging Technologies. This translates into opportunities across the campus, from offering faculty and researchers the opportunity to hold and develop patents on their Dartmouth research, to providing students a chance to live and learn with other undergraduates who have ideas for startups, to connecting alumni seeking a way to put venture capital to work developing new Dartmouth ideas.
Generally, universities file the patent claims on institutional research. But several years ago, through the Office of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer, Dartmouth created a process that allows faculty and researchers to license or even acquire patent rights to new inventions while giving the institution an equity stake in commercialization.
“It encourages faculty in terms of entrepreneurial thinking about their inventions,” says Fossum. “It’s a very generous policy compared to almost any other university. We hope that helps with both attracting top talent to Dartmouth as well as retention of faculty.”