If you had to guess which entity in Florida generates the most patents, which would you choose?

Maybe Disney, or perhaps Florida’s prosperous citrus industry? What about one of our top-notch health systems?

Those are good guesses, but the answer is actually Florida’s State University System. In the past five years, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued over 800 patents to the 12 schools within the system.

The University of South Florida leads the way with 241 patents granted. Coming in second are the University of Florida and the University of Central Florida, which both earned 236 patents.
In some ways, this should not come as a surprise. The sorts of innovations that can be patented are typically the product of long hours spent brainstorming, testing, refining and improving. With their large research and development resources, to say nothing of their mission to advance human knowledge, colleges and universities are often engines of invention, and they have at their disposal the materials needed to develop patentable innovations.

Many people believe that university research promotes technological breakthroughs and encourages positive economic changes. If that is indeed the case, then the State University System’s patents are a positive thing for all Floridians.

Of course, colleges and universities are not the only institutions that generate patents. A great many small businesses and independent innovators create patentable material as well. If you have an invention that you believe will take off, it is important that you protect your investment and future business opportunities by securing your intellectual property rights.

Source: WCTV-TV, “Florida Universities Generate Most Patents In State,” Feb. 18, 2013