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The top patent earner in South Carolina 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 South Carolina 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 South Carolina 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.

Kyocera Corp. was the top patent-earner in South Carolina last year. It was issued 35 patents from the USPTO within the state, comprising 23.8% of all patents considered for the statewide analysis. Electronics manufacturer Kyocera won patents in 2022 for semiconductor, RFID, and sleep-tracking technologies.

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 South Carolina last year.

#8. Battelle Savannah River Alliance, LLC
- Patents issued: 10

#5. Sonoco Development, Inc. (tie)
- Patents issued: 11

#5. Afl Telecommunications LLC (tie)
- Patents issued: 11

#5. 3D Systems, Inc. (tie)
- Patents issued: 11

#4. University of South Carolina
- Patents issued: 17

#3. Hand Held Products, Inc.
- Patents issued: 22

#2. Techtronic Cordless Gp
- Patents issued: 30

#1. Kyocera Corp.
- Patents issued: 35

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