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Mapping the European patent landscape for medical uses of known products

European Patent Office data show an increasing number of patents for new medical uses of known products.

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Fig. 1: EPO patent applications and granted patent publications with claims directed to medical uses of known products (EPC2000 claims) from 2001 to 2020 by publication date of the patent application (S7 in Table 1).
Fig. 2: Granted patents with EPC2000 claims per year.
Fig. 3: Organizations with the highest counts of patents (S8) with EPC2000 claims since 1990.
Fig. 4: Organizations leading the inventive patent activity in 2020 (original applicants/assignees) resulting in granted patents with independent EPC2000 claims.
Fig. 5: Granted patents with EPC2000 claims and estimate (upper and lower bounds) for the number of patents whose broadest claim is an EPC2000 claim.
Fig. 6: Types of claim formulations that are being used to protect inventions that claim medical uses of known products (compositions/compounds) and their relative prevalence.
Fig. 7: Priority dates of EPO patents containing Swiss-type claims.
Fig. 8: Classification of patents according to their broadest independent claim.


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The research was supported, in part, by a Novo Nordisk Foundation grant for a scientifically independent Collaborative Research Programme in Biomedical Innovation Law (grant no. NNF17SA027784).

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Correspondence to Mateo Aboy.

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Aboy, M., Liddell, K., Liddicoat, J. et al. Mapping the European patent landscape for medical uses of known products. Nat Biotechnol 39, 1336–1343 (2021).

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