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)