The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a record number of patents for medical devices in 2012 (the latest year for which statistics are available), and the growth rate for medtech patents is double that of other industries.
MD+DI editorial advisory board member David Dykeman, a patent attorney with law firm Greenberg Traurig LLP who will be speaking about intellectual property at the upcoming MD&M East conference in New York City, says the medtech patent gold rush is on and smart companies should stake their claims now.
But some are already well ahead in the patent race. According to the USPTO, these 10 companies had the most medtech patents granted from 1993 through 2012:
- Cardiac Pacemakers (now Guidant, part of Boston Scientific and Abbott Laboratories)—1990
- Boston Scientific—1837
- SCIMED Life Systems (merged with Boston Scientific)—1667
- Procter + Gamble Co.—1346
- Pacesetter Systems (now part of Medtronic and St. Jude Medical)—1328
- General Electric Co.—1273
- Kimberly-Clark Worldwide—1144
- Advanced Cardiovascular Systems (now Abbott Cardiovascular Systems, part of Abbott Laboratories)—1084
[image courtesy of VLADO/FREEDIGITALPHOTOS.NET]