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In Frontiers in medicine

Two years after COVID-19 came into being, many technologies have been developed to bring highly promising bedside methods to help fight this epidemic disease. However, owing to viral mutation, how far the promise can be realized remains unclear. Patents might act as an additional source of information for informing research and policy and anticipating important future technology developments. A comprehensive study of 3741 COVID-19-related patents (3,543 patent families) worldwide was conducted using the Derwent Innovation database. Descriptive statistics and social network analysis were used in the patent landscape. The number of COVID-19 applications, especially those related to treatment and prevention, continued to rise, accompanied by increases in governmental and academic patent assignees. Although China dominated COVID-19 technologies, this position is worth discussing, especially in terms of the outstanding role of India and the US in the assignee collaboration network as well as the outstanding invention portfolio in Italy. Intellectual property barriers and racist treatment were reduced, as reflected by individual partnerships, transparent commercial licensing and diversified portfolios. Critical technological issues are personalized immunity, traditional Chinese medicine, epidemic prediction, artificial intelligence tools, and nucleic acid detection. Notable challenges include balancing commercial competition and humanitarian interests. The results provide a significant reference for decision-making by researchers, clinicians, policymakers, and investors with an interest in COVID-19 control.

Liu Kunmeng, Zhang Xiaoming, Hu Yuanjia, Chen Weijie, Kong Xiangjun, Yao Peifen, Cong Jinyu, Zuo Huali, Wang Jian, Li Xiang, Wei Benzheng


COVID-19, bibliometric patent analysis, citation network, coronavirus, patent landscape, patent mining, social network analysis