Technology Trends and Patenting Prospects of Medicinal Plants in Korea

한국 약용작물의 기술 동향 및 특허 전망

  • Choi, Ji Weon (National Institute of Horticultural and Herbal Science, RDA) ;
  • Kim, Su Yeon (The Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer) ;
  • Yu, Go Eun (National Institute of Agricultural Sciences, RDA) ;
  • Kim, Chang Kug (National Institute of Agricultural Sciences, RDA)
  • 최지원 (농촌진흥청 국립원예특작과학원) ;
  • 김수연 (농업기술실용화재단) ;
  • 유고은 (농촌진흥청 국립농업과학원) ;
  • 김창국 (농촌진흥청 국립농업과학원)
  • Received : 2019.01.30
  • Accepted : 2019.03.27
  • Published : 2019.04.30


Background: Medicinal plants are widely used in Asia. They have proven to be an invaluable asset in modern drug discovery and their demand has been steadily increasing across various industries. Methods and Results: Using 4,867 valid patents related to 12 oriental medicinal plants of 10 country groups, the growth and development potential of patents was evaluated. The cites per patent (CPP) and patent family size (PFS) indices were used to evaluate the market capability and technological level of the collected patents. Meanwhile, the patent impact index (PII) and technology strength (TS) were used to compare the technological competitiveness of patents among various technology types and markets. Both CPP and PFS indices showed that magnolia-vine and balloon flower have numerous core or original patents. Furthermore, an increase in both PII and TS indices was observed. A newly designed intellectual property multi-layer (IPM) model predicted that the medicine, genome and cosmetic categories have a high possibility of patent application growth. Conclusions: The IPM model can be used to provide the scope of particular technology fields for patent development. In addition, this study can assist patents to advance in the international market and guide the development of a national industrial strategy.

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Fig. 1. Landscape of technologies related to two medicinal plants based on the IPP model of magnolia-vine (A) and balloon flower (B).

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Fig. 2. IPE model landscape of the potential for technology development based on magnolia-vine (A) and balloon flower (B).

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Fig. 3. The graph shows the distribution of technologicallevels and market power based on the CPP and PFSindices for the 12 medicinal plants.

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Fig. 4. Radar chart of the relative Likert scale [0 (lowest) to 5 (highest)] with three technical factors (i.e., blank technology, entry barrier, and future growth).

Table 1. Classification of effective patents between 12 medicinal plants and 10 country groups.

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Table 2. Classification of the number of patents, patent impact index (PII), and technology strength (TS) index in two intervals for the 12medicinal plants.

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Supported by : Rural Development Administration


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