The University of California proved once again last year that when it comes to developing patents, UC might as well have invented it.

UC received more patents last year than any other U.S. university by 300, according to a preliminary report released Friday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. UC received 439 patents during 2003, followed by the California Institute of Technology with 139 and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with 127.

Texas, Stanford, Wisconsin, Johns Hopkins, Michigan, Columbia, Cornell and Florida rounded out the top 10.

“Academic researchers, and the inventions they patent, are integral to the progress of the science and technology that strengthen the economy, create new jobs and enhance the health and welfare of all Americans,” Jon Dudas, acting U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property, said in a release.

The release cited the biotechnology, telecommunications, information technology and electronics manufacturing industries as areas where the University made its strongest contributions. UC scientists and engineers have founded more than 300 research and development firms in California, according to the release.