UW-Madison, WARF: In top 10 for utility patents in 2020 global rankings

MADISON – The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), which manages intellectual property for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has just been ranked seventh for U.S. utility patents granted in 2020, according to the annual Top 100 Worldwide Universities report.

Utility patents are those that cover inventions, including materials, processes, functions and devices. The report, published by the National Academy of Inventors and Intellectual Property Owners Association, uses data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to assemble its rankings and highlight the important role patents play in university research and innovation.

“In a competitive international field, to secure more than 160 U.S. utility patents in a given year is a testament to the world-class researchers of UW-Madison,” says Michael Falk, WARF’s chief intellectual property and licensing officer. “Patents represent years of effort and iteration, and behind each of them are people working to impact the world. WARF is a proud partner in this enterprise.”

Among the 162 patents issued to WARF in 2020 are:

• Simplified optical traps that could reduce the cost and complexity of quantum computing. Inventor: Mark Saffman, physics. Read more: https://www.warf.org/technologies/summary/P190053US01/

• Obstetrical imaging device for use by minimally or untrained birth attendants to support global maternal health. Inventors: Helen Feltovich (UW-Madison and Intermountain Healthcare) and Timothy Hall, medical physics. Read more: https://www.warf.org/technologies/summary/P160185US02/

• Slippery liquid-infused porous surfaces (SLIPS) with remarkable coating properties Inventors: David Lynn, chemical and biological engineering, and Uttam Manna (Illinois State University). Read more: https://www.warf.org/technologies/summary/P160308US02/

• Method for activating and expanding T-cell populations for genetic engineering and anti-cancer immunotherapies Inventors: Peiman Hematti, medicine, and Debra Bloom (Covance). Read more: https://www.warf.org/technologies/summary/P150198US02/

• Wearable sports medicine device for measuring stress in tendons, ligaments and muscles. Inventors: Darryl Thelen, mechanical engineering; Jack Martin (UW-Madison postdoctoral researcher); Matthew Allen, engineering physics; Daniel Segalman (Michigan State University) and Laura Slane (University of Rochester). Read more: https://www.warf.org/technologies/summary/P150362US01/

• New antibiotic isolated from sea squirt bacterium to treat serious infection. Inventors: Timothy Bugni and Douglas Braun, pharmacy; Thomas Wyche (Merck);  Jeff Piotrowsk (Yumanity Therapeutics); and Nasia Safdar, medicine. Read more: https://www.warf.org/technologies/summary/P140428US02/

The National Academy of Inventors is a non-profit founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students, and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society.

The Intellectual Property Owners Association is a trade association for owners of patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets.   

As an independent, non-profit foundation, WARF funds university research, obtains patents for campus discoveries and licenses inventions to industry while also managing more than 2,000 patents and an investment portfolio. WARF continues to welcome invention disclosures from UW-Madison faculty, staff and students. Explore more innovations at www.warf.org/technologies.