Why Mayo Clinic's patents keep growing

Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic has been filing an increasing number of patents because of the high degree of institutional support for innovation, the Rochester Post-Bulletin reported.

The health system's patents in Rochester have grown from 19 in 2000 to 93 in 2023 with 54 already this year, surpassing IBM, which had 215 patents in Rochester in 2000 and 30 this year, according to the May 18 story.

Mayo Clinic has long developed therapeutics, like cortisone in 1921, and medical technology, like magnetic resonance elastography to diagnose liver disease, but its business development department has increased in recent years, growing by 40 people since 2019 to 120 today, the newspaper reported. The health system also has a technology transfer arm called Mayo Clinic Ventures that commercializes ideas invented by Mayo staffers.

"We've been much more intentional with working with our innovators to bring these technologies forward," Mayo Clinic Patent Liaison Supervisor Chelsea Lassiter, PhD, told the news outlet. "Now we're just better able to do that because we have even more resources and more staff."

In 2021, Mayo Clinic disclosed more inventions (663), executed more licenses (157) and formed more startups (16) than any other health system, according to the story. Mayo Clinic also ranked 17th on the National Academy of Inventors' 2023 list of utility patents for nonprofit and government research institutions, trailing only Somerville, Mass.-based Mass General Brigham among health systems.

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