WHY SHOULD YOUR UNIVERSITY PATENT INVENTIONS? Well, in a word, money. I'm not exactly sure why academia is so averse, even hostile at times, to patents - personally, I think it's the "pinkish hue" (if you catch my drift) that permeates university culture.
However, there a plenty of universities that "get it." Take the University of California, for example. The 10-campus UC system, which produced 424 patents last year, has generated more inventions than any other U.S. university each of the past 11 years.
UC's 6,600 active patents earned the university more than $93 million in the 2003-04 fiscal year. The patent process, which often takes five years or more, is not nearly as lucrative for faculty, but it helps keep their research practical and timely.
From 2002-03, here is a list of the most profitable patents generated at UC:
1. Hepatitis B vaccine - UC San Francisco $20,602,000
2. Aneurysm treatment - UC Los Angeles $7,375,000
3. Camarosa strawberry - UC Davis $3,043,000
4. Skin-cooling device - UC Irvine $2,936,000
5. Interstitial cystitis therapy - UC San Diego $2,920,000
6. Fluorescent conjugate probes - UC Berkeley $1,462,000
7. Yeast expression vector - UC San Francisco $1,301,000
8. Liposome storage method - UC Davis $1,212,000
9. Feline AIDS virus diagnostic - UC Davis $1,008,000
10. Learning-disabled aids - UC San Francisco $1,006,000