The State Science and Technology Institute (SSTI) released its “Useful Statistics” on June 17, 2021, which featured an analysis of US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) data for granted utility and plant patents. in the United States by state / territory from 2016 to 2020. These types of patents are generally associated with inventions of new products and services.
Patent activity is considered an indicator of the health of innovation ecosystems and can come from inventors in academia, industry and the public sector. Trends over time provide an understanding of the strengths and gaps in the sector and help program and policy makers develop initiatives to support their local innovation ecosystem.
Analysis of the five-year average annual growth rate of issued patents (2016 to 2020) showed that the largest average rate of change was the District of Columbia (19.1%), followed by Puerto Rico (15.2 %), Arkansas (15.2%), Alaska (9.2%) and Connecticut (8.9%). While Puerto Rico’s increase was ranked second, the actual numbers are low, revealing the gap between R&D and patent activities.
The Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust (PRSTRT) Technology Transfer Office (TTO) was established in 2016 to address the “patent gap” by partnering with universities in Puerto Rico and their scientists and researchers to identify important discoveries supported by research funding. In fiscal 2019, these universities achieved a total of $ 121 million in research and development (R&D), of which $ 79.9 million was federally funded R&D, or about 86% of the total in Porto. Rico.
As I said before, we are grateful to be able to support our university partners and have a positive impact on the innovation ecosystem.
TTO supports the assessment of significant research discoveries, intellectual property protection, global commercialization to the private sector, and then transfers the technology through licenses and other agreements to the private sector. TTO’s academic partners include the University of Puerto Rico system, the Ana G. Méndez university system, the Ponce Health Sciences University / Ponce Medical School Foundation, the Universidad Central del Caribe, and the San Juan Bautista School of Medicine.
Since 2016, the TTO has received 101 invention disclosures, filed 19 U.S. patent applications and 16 foreign patent applications using highly qualified patent firms with scientific expertise in the field of invention. Each patent application then goes through prosecution and examination stages, which can take 12 to 36 months or more and, if successful, a patent will be granted. From 2016 to 2020, at least 46 U.S. patents were granted to universities in Puerto Rico.