Kaist ranks 5th globally in patent applications

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Kaist ranks 5th globally in patent applications

The Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (Kaist) ranked fifth worldwide in the number of international patent applications from a university last year, according to a recent report. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a UN agency established in 1967, revealed in its report released on published international patent applications by top universities earlier this month that in 2011 there were a total of 103 applications filed by Kaist last year. It had almost doubled the number of its applications since 2010.

One of the school’s many inventions include an ultraslim module connector for smartphones and cameras which could significantly reduce the width of the device developed by Professor Paik Kyung-Wook of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Kaist with his team of researchers last year.

Academic institutions made up 5.9 percent of all patent applications submitted last year, according to the WIPO report. In other words, out of a total of 181,900 patents filed, 17,320 were filed by universities. Patent applications on the whole grew by 10.7 percent compared to 2010, the fastest growth since 2005, WIPO revealed.

U.S. universities lead in the top four spots, with the University of California ranking first with 277 applications filed, followed by MIT with 179. The University of Texas and John Hopkins University followed next with 127 and 111, respectively.

Seoul National University also made it to the top 10, coming in at sixth, barely beating out the only other foreign university in the top 10, with 99 patent applications published last year to the University of Tokyo’s 98.

U.S. universities dominated the WIPO top 50 list last year with 30 institutions. Korea and Japan followed next with seven institutions each.

The other five Korean institutions in the top 50 were: Korea University (60 applications), the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (52), Hanyang University (50), Yonsei University (43) and the Pohang University of Science and Technology (33).

“Kaist registers a patent for almost all of its original technology,” said patent attorney Kim Kwon, in charge of Kaist’s patent applications. “Unlike Seoul National University and other universities, it doesn’t have technologies that die out.”

According to WIPO, the top five countries with the fastest growth in international patent filings were the United States, China, Japan, Canada and Korea.

By Sarah Kim, Park Bang-ju [sarahkim@joongang.co.kr]
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