International Patent Survey of Products and Processes Concerning Homeopathy
Background Homeopathy is a complementary medicine characterized by the use of diluted and potentized medicines. Innovations in this area are constantly being proposed in the relevant literature, such as scientific articles and patents. The objective of this study was to carry out a patent survey of homeopathic products and processes.
Methods A free and international patent database, Espacenet, was used. The search was carried out using the keyword homeop*, with two approaches: (1) no date restrictions for the search and (2) a date limit for the publication years 2008 to 2018. The patents from the limited period were organized as depositor countries, ownerships and groups, including homeopathic formulations, equipment, packaging, production procedures, and analytical methods.
Results Without date restriction, 601 patents were identified in the survey. Of these, 174 were related to homeopathy and published in the period 2008 to 2018. Technologies come mainly from the following countries: United States (55 patents), Russia (24), Germany (15), France (13), India (12), Ukraine (11), Brazil (6), and China (6). Among the ownerships, 69% of patent applications were by independent depositors, 23% by companies, 7.5% by universities, and 0.5% by company/university partnerships. New formulations represented 75.9% of technologies, whilst the others comprised 14.3% for equipment, 3.8% for drugs packaging, 3.8% for production procedures, and 2.2% for analytical methods.
Conclusions The present review helps visualize the homeopathy-related patents published in recent years, as well as the main countries and researchers investing in the field of homeopathy.
• A patents review about homeopathy was performed.
• Inventors from the United States and Russia are the major applicants of homeopathy-based patents.
• Independent persons are the most common kind of applicants of homeopathy-based patents.
• The largest number of homeopathy-based patents involves new formulations.
Received: 21 February 2020
Accepted: 14 May 2020
15 October 2020 (online)
The Faculty of Homeopathy
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