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The top patent earner in Minnesota last year

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June 21, 2023
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This story originally appeared on ClickUp and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.

The top patent earner in Minnesota 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 Minnesota 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.

3M Innovative Properties Co. was the top patent-earner in Minnesota last year. It was issued 410 patents from the USPTO within the state, comprising 23.1% of all patents considered for the statewide analysis. Minnesota-based 3M is the company behind a number of plastic-based products used every day in American homes. In 2022 it earned patents for pads to compress sore joints and even a device that recognizes gunshots and electronically protects users' ears from damaging sound levels.

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 Minnesota last year.

#30. Smiths Medical Asd, Inc. (tie)
- Patents issued: 10

#30. General Mills, Inc. (tie)
- Patents issued: 10

#30. Bl Technologies, Inc. (tie)
- Patents issued: 10

#26. Vista Outdoor Operations LLC (tie)
- Patents issued: 11

#26. Sleep Number Corp. (tie)
- Patents issued: 11

#26. Marmon Foodservice Technologies, Inc. (tie)
- Patents issued: 11

#26. Fair Isaac Corp. (tie)
- Patents issued: 11

#25. Hutchinson Technology, Inc.
- Patents issued: 13

#24. Federal Cartridge Co.
- Patents issued: 15

#23. The Toro Co.
- Patents issued: 16

#22. Stratasys, Inc.
- Patents issued: 17

#21. Rosemount, Inc.
- Patents issued: 18

#20. Cambria Co. LLC
- Patents issued: 20

#19. Architecture Technology Corp.
- Patents issued: 21

#18. Thermo King
- Patents issued: 23

#17. Starkey Laboratories, Inc.
- Patents issued: 25

#16. Caterpillar Paving Products, Inc.
- Patents issued: 29

#15. Cargill, Inc.
- Patents issued: 31

#14. Rosemount Aerospace, Inc.
- Patents issued: 32

#12. Graco Minnesota, Inc. (tie)
- Patents issued: 38

#12. Ademco, Inc. (tie)
- Patents issued: 38

#11. Polaris Industries, Inc.
- Patents issued: 46

#10. Donaldson Co., Inc.
- Patents issued: 47

#9. Cardiac Pacemakers, Inc.
- Patents issued: 68

#8. St. Jude Medical
- Patents issued: 69

#7. Regents of the University of Minnesota
- Patents issued: 84

#6. Target Brands, Inc.
- Patents issued: 88

#5. Ecolab USA, Inc.
- Patents issued: 90

#4. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research
- Patents issued: 93

#3. Medtronic, Inc.
- Patents issued: 160

#2. Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.
- Patents issued: 211

#1. 3M Innovative Properties Co.
- Patents issued: 410

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