Navy scientists rank No. 1 when it comes to newly patented discoveries and inventions, according to a June report published by the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
The IEEE’s annual Patent Power Scorecard, which ranks the relative significance of various organizations’ patent portfolios, said the Navy surpassed all international government agencies. IEEE is the world’s largest professional association dedicated to advancing technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity.
The Office of Naval Research, the Navy’s science and technology provider, is responsible for policy and direction concerning patents, inventions, trademarks, copyrights and royalty payments (intellectual property).
“Holding the top position is a good performance indicator, but being first also recognizes that the network of naval research labs and partnerships is focused on generating innovations and intellectual property that our Sailors and Marines depend on,” said Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Nevin Carr, who leads the Office of Naval Research (ONR). “Patents protect the Navy’s research and development investment.”
With 232 patents issued in 2009, the Department of the Navy outpaced its closest two competitors by wide margins. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued 121 patents and Japan’s Science and Technology Agency distributed 104.
“Numbers are important, but so is quality,” Carr said. We’re fortunate to have a strong team that produces a diverse patent portfolio.”
Along with highlighting the volume of the Navy’s world-class scientific work, the ranking underscores the close coordination with ONR’s talented legal team to ensure patents are well structured and valid, the admiral mentioned.
One of the Navy’s most notable patents is the Navigation System Using Satellites and Passive Ranging Techniques issued in 1974, which led to the development of the NAVSTAR-Global Positioning System (GPS). That technology was invented by Roger L. Easton (shown left), a research scientist who worked for the Naval Research Laboratory, ONR’s corporate lab.