The global medical industry experienced an 8% decline in patent filings in Q4 2023 compared with the previous quarter. The total number of grants dropped by 4%, resulting in overall patent publications decreasing by 8.9%, according to GlobalData’s Patent Analytics. GlobalData’s databook Medical Devices: Patents Trends Q4 2023 offers comprehensive insights into patenting trends, major players’ strategies, and geographical focus in the sector over the last three years. Buy the databook here.

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Notably, the number of patent applications in the medical industry was 34,383 in Q4 2023, versus 37,721 in the prior quarter. Filings were down 16% year-on-year and decrease 8% quarter-on-quarter. This compares to a 16% year-on-year decrease in patent grants and 8% decline in quarter-on-quarter.

Most patenting activity has been in the General Surgery Devices sector, where the number of patents filed Q3 2023 was 4603, a drop of 7% versus the previous quarter. The second-largest patent count was in Healthcare IT (3735, down 9%) and then Diagnostic Imaging in third (2927, down 22%).

The top five companies accounted for 10% of patenting activity

Analysis of patenting activity by companies shows that the largest number of patents filed over the last quarter was by Johnson & Johnson with 797, followed by Medtronic with 692 and Becton Dickinson and Co with 679.

Patenting activity was driven by China with a 29% share of total patent filings

The largest share of patent filings in the medical industry in Q4 2023 was in China with 29%, followed by the US (25%) and Japan (8%). The share represented by China was 6% lower than the 34% share it accounted for in Q3 2023.

For further understanding of GlobalData's Medical Devices: Patents Trends Q4 2023, buy the databook here.

This content was updated on 23 January 2024

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.