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The top patent earner in Michigan last year

Written by:
June 21, 2023
Katherine Welles // Shutterstock

This story originally appeared on ClickUp and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.

The top patent earner in Michigan last year

Tech and engineering firms were the most inventive patent winners across the U.S. last year—a year marked by growing tension with foreign nations racing to bring world-changing tech like artificial intelligence and space satellites to market.

Nearly 160,000 patents were assigned across the U.S. in 2022, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. When a patent is awarded through the USPTO, the individual or company that it's given to has the license to a temporary monopoly on business for that specific product or service. Companies have used patent law for decades to defend their intellectual property—including designs and devices against competitors that might attempt to profit off of stolen ideas.

ClickUp used data from the Patent and Trademark Office to find the top patent earner in Michigan based on the number of patents assigned in USPTO's fiscal year 2022, which ran from Oct. 1, 2021, through Sept. 30, 2022. This analysis was part of a broader national report on the top patent earner in every state. The data looks at the assignees for both regular utility and design patents and was limited to assignees that received at least 10 patents within the year.

Ford Motor Co. was the top patent-earner in Michigan last year. It was issued 815 patents from the USPTO within the state, comprising 26.8% of all patents considered for the statewide analysis. Ford and other American automakers have spent recent years developing their own proprietary technologies related to electric vehicles. Henry Ford's namesake was earning patents surrounding fuel cell assembly and other aspects of electrified mobility in 2022.

Nationally, the vast majority of top patent earners last year were private organizations. Private spending on research and development by U.S. companies has skyrocketed since the economic downturn of the late 2000s. In 2020, it was estimated to total $531 billion, according to the latest available data from the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics. But nine colleges and universities rose to the top in their respective states for patent filing, as well.

Read on to see who else scooped up the rights to the most cutting-edge tech in Michigan last year.

#36. Wolverine Outdoors, Inc. (tie)
- Patents issued: 10

#36. Guardian Glass, LLC (tie)
- Patents issued: 10

#36. Gentherm, Inc. (tie)
- Patents issued: 10

#36. Faurecia Automotive Seating, LLC (tie)
- Patents issued: 10

#35. Endra Life Sciences, Inc.
- Patents issued: 11

#34. Veoneer U.S., LLC
- Patents issued: 12

#32. Extang Corp. (tie)
- Patents issued: 13

#32. Arvinmeritor Technology, LLC (tie)
- Patents issued: 13

#31. Horizon Global Americas, Inc.
- Patents issued: 14

#30. Zephyros, Inc.
- Patents issued: 15

#29. Shanghai Yanfeng Jinqiao Automotive Trim Systems Co. Ltd.
- Patents issued: 16

#25. Zf Passive Safety SystemsUS, Inc. (tie)
- Patents issued: 17

#25. Wayne State University (tie)
- Patents issued: 17

#25. Millerknoll, Inc. (tie)
- Patents issued: 17

#25. Byrne, Norman R. (tie)
- Patents issued: 17

#24. Adient US LLC
- Patents issued: 18

#23. Ge Aviation Systems LLC
- Patents issued: 20

#22. Joyson Safety Systems Acquisition LLC
- Patents issued: 22

#21. Denso International America, Inc.
- Patents issued: 24

#20. Bissel, Inc.
- Patents issued: 28

#19. Rivian IP Holdings, LLC
- Patents issued: 31

#18. Continental Automotive Systems, Inc.
- Patents issued: 37

#17. Gentex Corp.
- Patents issued: 38

#16. Johnson Controls
- Patents issued: 39

#15. Board of Trustees of Michigan State University
- Patents issued: 45

#14. Steering Solutions IP Holding Corp.
- Patents issued: 50

#12. Steelcase, Inc. (tie)
- Patents issued: 52

#12. Lear Corp. (tie)
- Patents issued: 52

#11. Walters Gardens, Inc.
- Patents issued: 62

#10. Borgwarner, Inc.
- Patents issued: 72

#9. Magna
- Patents issued: 83

- Patents issued: 95

#7. Merative US L.P.
- Patents issued: 106

#6. The Regents of the University of Michigan
- Patents issued: 107

#5. Stryker Corp.
- Patents issued: 163

#4. Whirlpool Corp.
- Patents issued: 167

#3. Dow Global Technologies
- Patents issued: 241

#2. GM Global Technology Operations
- Patents issued: 476

#1. Ford Motor Co.
- Patents issued: 815

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