Medical device patents—a review of contemporary global trends with an Irish comparison
- 17 Downloads
Trends in medical technology patents provide an objective comparison of research and development between countries and over time. An analysis of these trends can benchmark innovation within Ireland in a worldwide context. By identifying and examining leading countries, domestic educational, infrastructural, regulatory and fiscal planning may be optimised.
Materials and methods
Published data filing and granting reports from the two major patent offices (United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and European Patent Office (EPO)) were analysed.
USPTO statistics demonstrated an 83.1% decrease in the overall number of medical device patents filed over the 10-year period, from 2005 (n = 1092) to 2015 (n = 185). Conversely, there was a 166% increase in the number of medical device patents granted over the same period. EPO applications in the field of medical technology represented the single largest industry category. The proportion of patents granted of Irish origin have increased from 0.7 (n = 22) to 0.9% (n = 73) over 10 years. Switzerland ranks first for medical device patents granted per head of population by the EPO, with Ireland ranking 5th. Ireland’s medical device patents have increased dramatically per head of population, from 4.1 per million in 2012, to 15.3 in 2016. Israel has the highest number of USPTO patents granted per head of population, with Ireland ranking 5th.
Ireland demonstrates high levels of medical technology patent filing per head of population, reflecting the importance of this industry. However, both Switzerland and Israel demonstrate dominance amongst smaller nations, and serving as benchmarks for national planning.
KeywordsMedical devices Medical technology Patent trends Patenting
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- 1.Association IMD Key facts about Irish medtech sector. Irish Medical Device Association http://www.bioinnovate.ie/key-facts-about-irish-medtech-sector. Accessed 03 May 2018
- 2.WIPO Intellectual property handbook. World Intellectual Property Organization http://www.wipo.int/edocs/pubdocs/en/intproperty/489/wipo_pub_489.pdf. Accessed 28 Sept 2017
- 3.Office UPaT (2015) U.S. patent statistics chart calendar years 1963–2017. https://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/ido/oeip/taf/us_stat.htm. Accessed 3 May 2018
- 4.Glossary of Patent Terminology. OECD. https://www.oecd.org/sti/sci-tech/37569498.pdf. Accessed 5 May 2018
- 5.Lee-Makiyama H (2015) What the U.S. can learn from the EU’s patent mistakes. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2015/06/08/what-the-u-s-can-learn-from-the-eus-patent-mistakes/ - 4331fa3d3e4b. Accessed 28 Sept 2017
- 6.Coman G (2015) Medical device patents: US vs international patents MDDI online. http://www.mddionline.com/blog/devicetalk/five-things-medical-device-companies-should-know-about-us-versus-international-patents-04-22-15. Accessed 28 Sept 2017
- 8.Total global medical technology growth per year from 2010 to 2022. Statista, Hamburg, Germany. https://www.statista.com/statistics/329048/worldwide-medical-technology-growth-per-year/. Accessed 3 May 2018
- 9.Office UPaT Patent Pendency Statistics - FY09. https://www.uspto.gov/learning-and-resources/statistics/patent-pendency-statistics-fy09. Accessed 27 July 2018
- 10.Cronin B (2016) The quest for patent quality: European inventive step and US obviousness. IP Watchdog. http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2016/12/21/patent-quality-european-inventive-step-us-obviousness/id=75860/. Accessed 28 Sept 2017
- 11.New W (2016) High Quality patents could keep patent trolls in check in Europe, EU report finds. Intellectual Property Watch. https://www.ip-watch.org/2016/10/27/high-quality-patents-keep-patent-trolls-check-europe-eu-report-finds/. Accessed 28 Sept 2017
- 14.Finnegan G (2016) A new Irish ‘uprising’ – part I: how Ireland is rapidly becoming Europe’s medtech hub. Medeuronet. https://medtechengine.com/article/medical-device-companies-ireland/. Accessed 19 Oct 2017
- 15.About the medtech sector. Irish Medtech Association. http://www.irishmedtechassoc.ie/Sectors/IMDA/IMDA.nsf/vPages/Medtech_sector~about-the-medtech-sector!OpenDocument. Accessed 19 Oct 2017
- 16.Burke-Kennedy E (2016) New strategy to create medtech hub in Ireland unveiled. Medeuronet. https://medtechengine.com/article/new-strategy-create-medtech-hub-ireland-unveiled/. Accessed 19 Oct 2017
- 17.Research, Development and Innovation in 2018. Irish Development Authority, Dublin, Ireland. https://www.idaireland.com/doing-business-here/activities/research-development-and-innovation. Accessed 01 Feb 2018
- 18.Finnegan G (2016) A new Irish ‘uprising’ – part II: can the world’s ‘hottest hub’ maintain its pole position? Medeuronet. https://medtechengine.com/article/medtech-ireland-worlds-hottest-hub-maintain-position/. Accessed 19 Oct 2017
- 20.Levenfeld B Green D, Arnon Y (2016) Israel’s medical device industry and its global impact. Medical Design Technology. https://www.mdtmag.com/article/2016/05/israels-medical-device-industry-and-its-global-impact. Accessed 1 Oct 2017
- 21.Khalsa A (2013) Why Israel is poised to soon lead medical device industry growth. Market Realist. http://marketrealist.com/2013/09/must-know-israel/. Accessed 1 Oct 2017