A patent study conducted by the Patent Yogi team shows that China has been at the forefront fighting Coronavirus related pandemic/epidemic.
The Patent Yogi team conducted a patent study on the Worldwide patent literature. We split the study into two phases. The first phase focused only on patents related to inventions pertaining to Coronavirus. The second phase focused on patents related to inventions pertaining to Epidemics/Pandemics in general.
In the first phase, we found 987 patent families related to inventions pertaining to Coronavirus in the Worldwide patent literature. Surprisingly, about one-fourth of these patents, originate from research centers (run by the Chinese Government) and Chinese Universities (funded by the Chinese Government).
As shown in the bar graph of Fig. 1, out of the total 987 patent families, 225 patent families are active in China, 113 patent families are active in South Korea and 112 patent families are active in the US.
Further analysis of the 987 patent families was performed to identify the top patent filing organizations. As shown in Fig. 2, out of the top 25 organizations, 15 organizations are located in China. This data is a good indicator of the level of inventiveness of the active players in this field. Now, these organizations may use this data to collaborate and also identify their preferred partners to fight the COVID-19 threat.
The chart below relates to various technology domains covered by the patents in the 987 patent families’ data set. This information may help to identify the diversity or the specificity of various organizations. It can also enable to very quickly identify the core business of the various organizations. The chart shows that pharmaceuticals is the most active technology domain. As a result, one may infer that a large percentage of these patents relate to drugs for managing or treating diseases caused by corona virus.
Further analysis identified the top inventors in this field as shown in the bar graph of Fig. 4. These inventors are the leading experts whose experience would be invaluable during the struggle to fight COVID-19.
The top inventor in this list is Rao Zihe (shown in Fig. 5). Rao Zihe is a Chinese biophysicist and former president of Nankai University. He is an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and of The World Academy of Sciences.
Photo: VCG. Courtesy – Global Times
Rao Zihe is at the forefront in fighting COVID-19. On Feb 4, 2020, Zihe Rao and Haitao Yang’s research team at ShanghaiTech University determined and released a high-resolution crystal structure of COVID-19 (2019-nCoV) coronavirus 3CL hydrolase (Mpro) (shown in Fig. 6). This structure of the main protease of the virus (PDB 6lu7) will enable research on this newly-recognized human pathogen.
Source – doi
In the second phase of our study, we found 7649 patent families related to Epidemic/Pandemic diseases (including those resulting from corona virus) in the Worldwide patent literature.
As a result of this study, the bar graph of Fig. 7 shows that China dominates in the number of patent families related to Epidemic/Pandemic diseases. Approximately, 40% (3056 patent families) of the total 7649 patent families originate from Chinese research centers and Chinese Universities.
The table of Fig. 8 lists the top patent filing organizations based on the second data set. Out of top 27 organizations, 25 organizations are from China.
It should not surprise anyone that Chinese organizations and experts have been working intensely on combating Coronavirus situation specifically and pandemic/epidemic situations in general. Rather, it is as per expectations, as China suffered significant loses from SARS outbreak caused by SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) in the period 2002–2004, H1N1 swine flu outbreak in 2009, and H7N9 bird flu outbreak in 2013. Therefore, the Chinese government has been extensively investing in research to prepare the country for the next outbreak.
There is a lot of credible information indicating that the Chinese government did suppress the news of COVID-19 in Wuhan for over a month. However, they have been diligently working to combat COVID-19 type situations over the past decade or so. No wonder, China was able to control the rapid spread of Covid-19 within their borders fairly quickly. Therefore, the Chinese seem to best prepared to combat COVID-19 type situations. Given the worldwide spread of COVID-19, it might be in everyone’s best interest to work with the Chinese organizations and experts to fight COVID-19.
If any reporter needs raw data used in this study, please drop an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Patent Yogi
Patent Yogi is a patent services company based in Greater Boston area. Patent Yogi is headed by Dhiraj Jindal, a licensed patent practitioner, who has cleared the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) patent bar. He has wide ranging industry experience in engineering domain.
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