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Innovation Numbers Meet Masss Patent Winning Leaders

For startups that are at the helm of inventing the next ground-breaking technology, protecting its future with intellectual property is vital.

According to data analyzed by Anaqua, a Boston-based company that sells intellectual asset management software, there were 341,102 granted patents in the U.S. in 2018, down 3.3 percent from 2017. Non-U.S. companies won 167,953 patents and U.S. companies won 173,149 patents.

Matt Troyer, director of patent analytics at Anaqua, noted that over the recent years, the number of software patents have waned. This is a result of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act passed in 2011 and the Supreme court decision in the Alice Corp vs. CLS Bank in 2014 which disputed the patent eligibility of “abstract ideas” like computer algorithms.

“The bigger trend, however, is that companies are more judicious about patents they file,” Troyer said. “They have a budget within which they operate and they are looking to optimize their best shot.”

Closer home, however, Massachusetts companies have been busy with regards to intellectual property — both winning and fighting for them. In September 2018, two prominent 3D companies Desktop Metal and Markforged, were embroiled in a patent infringement and corporate espionage lawsuit, which was later settled. And earlier this month (Jan. 2), Chelmsford-based Endeavor Robotics filed a lawsuit against Waltham-based QinetiQ North America and Foster-Miller Inc. over patent infringements.

For startups that are jostling in the competitive innovation landscape, understanding how IP works can be daunting. Thankfully, they have some resources for a start.

Image Courtesy: Anaqua

Below are the list of Massachusetts companies that won patent grants in 2018:

And here’s the list of Boston-area universities that won most patents in 2018:

  • MIT – 357
  • Harvard – 123
  • University of Massachusetts – 67
  • Tufts – 32
  • Northeastern – 24
  • Boston University – 19