The objective of this study was to carry out a patent survey of homeopathic products and processes. A free and international patent database, Espacenet, was used. The search was carried out using the keyword homeop*, with two approaches:
- no date restrictions for the search,
- 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.
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),
- China (6).
Among the ownerships,
- 69% of patent applications were by independent depositors,
- 23% by companies,
- 7.5% by universities,
- 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.
The authors concluded that 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.
It is not often that I find anything interesting published in the journal HOMEOPATHY these days. But this paper is fascinating, I thought. The main reason for this is the fact that we hear so often arguments which go something like this:
HOMEOPATHY CANNOT BE PATENTED —> NO COMMERCIAL INTEREST —> NO MONEY TO BE MADE —> NO FUNDS FOR RESEARCH —> NO LARGE AND RIGOROUS CLINICAL TRIALS.
And here we learn that there are about 17 patents per year. Sure this is not a lot but it squarely defeats the argument that homeopathic formulations cannot be patented.
Even more fascinating is the question which homeopathic formulation one might want to get patented. I have recently alluded to the weird and wonderful stuff that is already on offer (see here, here, here and here). Here I persent to you a few more:
- Alligator Miss. (Alligator Mississippiensis)
- Boa Constrictor
- Boa Constrictor (Skin)
- Car Exhaust
- Eclipse Totality
- Exhaust fumes (Car petrol exhaust fumes)
- Frog (Chytrid Fungus)
- Frog spawn (Common frog, Rana temporaria)
- Great Wall of China
- Hadrian’s Wall
- Indigo (colour)
- Irish Wet Turf
- Oxygenium (Oxygen)
- Ozone (O3)
- Rubber (Synthetic)
- Salicylic Acid
- Sol Africana
- Sol Australis (Sunlight – Australia)
- Sol Britannic (Sunlight British)
- Stonehenge (Emanation)
- Vitamin A (Retinol)
- Vitamin B Complex
- Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin)
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin, Vitamin G)
- Vitamin B3 (Nicotinic Acid, Niacin)
- Vitamin B5 (D-Pantothenic acid hemicalcium salt)
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride)
- Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic Acid)
- Vitamin D (Vitamin D2 + Vitamin D3)
- Vitamin D2 (Ergocalciferol)
- Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol)
- Vitamin E ((¬±)-Œ±-Tocopherol)
- Vitamin H (Biotin) (Biotin)
- Vitamin K (Vitamin K1)
- Vitamin K Injection (Phylloquinone, Vitamine K1)
- Wind (South-West)
We see very clearly that, in homeopathy, imagination knows no bounds. So, let me ask you, my readers and avid fans of homeopathy
WHICH FORMULATION WOULD YOU WANT TO PATENT?
(only serious answers, of course)
This post certainly suggests some lucrative business oportunities. I am e.g. looking at a morsel of dry Icelandic moss. This could be developed into some brilliant products. The real cost in such ventures used to be marketing, but that is practically free these days in the social media. I fail to see the need for obtaining a patent, however. If someone infringes on the idea, we just take something else on hand, like a clump of Icelandic lava I have here… wait a minute… That’s already on the market ?
I’d choose Homeopathius 30C. Guaranteed to cure homeopaths of their delusions. And hey, even if it didn’t work we would be less one charlatan.
I think I get Fascist 200C patented, and I would try to get it in the water supply of certain heads of state.
That should make the world a safer place – if only it worked.
Over the last months, I feel increasingly sad & empty because of all the tragedy caused by the pandemic – and also the misinformation, irrationality & selfishness that people show because of this natural disaster.
I wonder… is it still possible to patent “vacuum”? (highly diluted, of course)
you might feel very ‘full of yourself’, if you take a high potencey – be careful!
Wouldn’t prior use invalidate the patent?
‘Panacea Seawater 30C’
EVERYTHING has been in seawater, so it’s the homeopathic cure for everything.
It will make every other homeopathic remedy obsolete.
in this case ‘Big Hom’ will suppress and denounce you.
I would like to have Wind (south-west), but at once please, because it means “FÖHN” and this “winds away” these rainy clouds!
as a homeopathic remedy, it seems more like a wet fart to me.
Patent their billing system, natch, then use that to prevent them touching any more cold hard allopathic cash.
For their own good, of course: just think where all that money’s been. Won’t someone think of the homeopathic cross-contamination?!!
A nosode of Bovine excrement.
If only it worked we could dose up homeopaths and end the nonsense once and for all?
Maybe a Sandra or a Dana may have the same effect, i.e. none.
As you know Edzard all homeopathic products in the materia media are generic and cannot be patented- Enough have tried to patent Arnica for example but they will always fail.
Exceptions are for any new developed ingredient which wont be used by homeopaths.
Several of the remedies listed do feature in the materia medica. The rest have no references anywhere, are seldom used and do not feature in on line discussions or in books. Other than Gunpowder and one or two others there is no evidence of these products being supplied at anything other than minimal levels.
The only purpose most of the remedies on the list seem to serve is to provide Edzard with ideas for entertaining blog posts.
so, thanks to homeopathy! it’s always good for a laugh.
and if nonsense is supplied only at a minimal level, there is nothing to worry about.
Individual remedies, like all the ones you list, are not patented which is one of the beauties of homeopathy; removes profit motive. “New Formulations” would be combination remedies, which of course are not classical homeopathy.
Removing the profit motive? Selling water and sugar pills is a multi billions industry. Homeopathics are low production cost, zero development costs and high sales price. That’s very high profit.
The biggest production cost is done as volunteer work by the homeopathic community. A homeopathic proving is a very involved long process for many people. Making the remedies may just involve coating pills with the remedy tincture once all the various potencies are created. But the pharmacies have all the additional costs of investment, overhead and regulatory (record keeping, cleanliness, etc) requirements. That doesnt come free. At least one is not paying for a massive marketing and lobbying infrastructure that make up most of the costs of allopathic drugs.
Proving? If you think getting 6-8 acquaintances together, telling them what symptoms you require and only accepting those symptoms you thought should happen is hard work then never work in a science laboratory.
no profit motive? seriously???
so you must think that Boiron the French multi-national worth hundreds of millions of dollars is a charity then?
It is the largest manufacturer of homeopathic products in the world – sells in 60 countries and flogs its useless wares all over the globe – for a profit!
They sell the particularly useless and implausible Oscillococcinum flu remedy and ‘preventative’ also for a “profit”.
But since all homeopathic “remedies” are either lactose or water and contain no active ingredients they really ought to be sued for misrepresentation – and of course aside from packaging and advertising it is all “profit.”
Sorry to burst your bubble – did you really believe they were doing it all out of charity?
And of course we all know that all homeopaths give of their services for free as well don’t they – no profit motive there either? They just make soothing noises and give out whatever bottles they have handy (since we know that even homeos or chemical analysis can’t tell the difference between whatever contents are in the bottles it really doesn’t make any difference which bottles they hand out does it?) – a blind chimpanzee could do the job.
What is truly extraordinary about homeopathy is that even after 200 years there are still people clinging to this positively archaic and totally unscientific practice despite the fact that it has no logical or practical basis and has no rigorous studies backing it up. Sticking to it as a matter of faith in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary is a sign of sheer folly.
believing that there is no profit involved – draw your own conclusions.
If you stop frothing, you will see I was talking about the profit motive of patents.
Millions around the world are “clinging” it to it because it works and the allopathic alternative is dangerous and suppressive with long term harmful consequences and doesnt cure chronic disease.
If you are so convinced it doesnt work, do a homepathic proving.
Quite agree Roger…
As someone who has reaped numerous health benefits from homeopathy, I must say I am sick & tired of all you people out there, who only seem to get joy out of pouring scorn on something you obviously have no understanding about at all.
Well,..your loss folks..