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A Case Study: Analysis of Patents on Coronaviruses and Covid-19 for Technological Assessment and Future Research

[ Vol. 27 , Issue. 3 ]


Pankaj Musyuni, Geeta Aggarwal*, Manju Nagpal and Ramesh K. Goyal   Pages 423 - 439 ( 17 )


Background: Protecting intellectual property rights are important and particularly pertinent for inventions that are an outcome of rigorous research and development. While the grant of patents is subject to establishing novelty and inventive step, it further indicates the technological development and is helpful for researchers working in the same technical domain. The aim of the present research work is to map the existing work through an analysis of patent literature in the field of Coronaviruses (CoV), particularly COVID-19 (2019-nCoV). CoV is a large family of viruses known to cause illness in humans and animals, particularly known for causing respiratory infections, as evidenced in earlier times, such as in MERS i.e., Middle East Respiratory Syndrome; and SRS i.e., Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. A recently identified novel-coronavirus, known as COVID-19, has caused pandemic situations across the globe.

Objective: To expand the analysis of patents related to CoV and 2019-nCoV, an evaluation has been conducted by patenting trends of particular strains of identified CoV diseases by present legal status, main concerned countries via the earliest priority years and its assignee types and inventors of identified relevant patents. The global patent documents were analyzed to check the scope of claims along with focuses and trends of the published patent documents for the entire CoV family, including 2019-nCoV through the present landscape.

Methods: To extract the results, the Derwent Innovation database was used by a combination of different keystrings. Approximately 3800 patents were obtained and further scrutinized and analyzed. The present write-up also discusses the recent progress of patent applications in a period of the year 2010 to 2020 (present) along with the recent developments in India for the treatment options for CoV and 2019-nCoV.

Results: Present analysis showed that key areas of the inventions were the vaccines and diagnostic kits apart from the composition for the treatment of CoV. It was also observed that no specific vaccine treatments are available for the treatment of 2019-nCov; however, developing novel chemical or biological drugs and kits for early diagnosis, prevention, and disease management is the primary governing topic among the patented inventions. The present study also indicates potential research opportunities for the future, particularly to combat 2019-nCoV.

Conclusion: The present paper analyzes the existing patents in the field of Coronaviruses and 2019-nCoV and suggests a way forward for the effective contribution in this upcoming research area. From the trend analysis, an increase in the filing of the overall trend of patent families was observed for a period of 2010 to the current year. This multifaceted analysis of identified patent literature provides an understanding of the focuses on present ongoing research and a grey area in terms of the trends of technological innovations in disease management in patients with CoV and 2019-nCoV. Furthermore, the findings and outcome of the present study offer insights for the proposed research and innovation opportunities and provide actionable information in order to facilitate policymakers, academia, research-driven institutes and also investors to make better decisions regarding programmed steps for research and development for the diagnosis, treatment and taking preventive measures for CoV and 2019-nCoV. The present article also emphasizes the need for future development and the role of academia and collaboration with industry for speedy research with a rationale.


Coronaviruses (CoV), COVID-19 (2019-nCoV), patents, patent analysis, IPC, research evaluation, academia, technology assessment.


Delhi Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research University, New Delhi-110017, Delhi Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research University, New Delhi-110017, Chitkara College of Pharmacy, Chitkara University, Punjab, Delhi Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research University, New Delhi-110017

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