On the list of top 250 largest patent holders worldwide (2021), I see that Chinese universities hold many more patents than other universities, even normalizing by population size or student population size. Why? I am especially interested in the difference between China and the USA.
Universities ranked by number of active patent families* from the link above:
|Rank||Name||# active patent families||Country|
|2||Chinese Academy of Sciences CAS||78,415||China|
|34||Zhejiang University ZJU||21,805||China|
|76||Zhejiang University of Technology ZJUT||11,053||China|
|109||Dalian University of Technology||7,932||China|
|112||National Research Council of Science and Technology||7,803||South Korea|
|119||Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics||7,373||China|
|124||China University of Mining and Technology CUMT||7,014||China|
|151||University of California||5,603||USA|
|157||Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique CNRS||5,370||France|
|218||Capital Medical University||3,739||China|
*An active patent family is:
a collection of global patent filings related to a single invention. For example, if a company invents a new technology and files related patent applications in 10 countries, that represents one patent family. Further we only count patent families that are active – which contain at least one current, granted patent. This is a patent that can be enforced and that has not expired.