Coronaviruses are RNA viruses that cause infections in mammals and birds, ranging from mild to severe infections. There are mainly seven types of coronavirus strains that mainly cause respiratory tract infections in humans. They are as follows:
- Human coronavirus OC43 (HCoV-OC43)
- Human coronavirus HKU1 (HCoV-HKU1)
- Human coronavirus 229E (HCoV-229E)
- Human coronavirus NL63 (HCoV-NL63)
- The Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (MERS-CoV)
- Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV)
- Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2 or Covid-19)
The four of these coronaviruses such as HCoV-OC43, HCoV-HKU1, HCoV-229E and HCoV-NL63 cause mild infections of the common cold in children and adults. Whereas MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) cause severe infections and symptoms like cold, fever, and sore throat leading to death.
IP Activity of Human Coronaviruses:
1. Distribution of Human Coronavirus types & Publication Trends:
The following graphs show the distribution of several patents/publications among the human coronavirus strains. The highest number of patents/publications were seen related to the SARS-CoV and then followed by MERS-CoV and then other strains. It shows clearly that there is a correlation with the severity of the infections caused by human coronaviruses with the number of publications. The SARS-CoV2 (Covid-19) outbreak was identified in China in December 2019. Since then, researchers worldwide are working hard in innovating new drugs or compositions or vaccines or diagnostic systems to treat or diagnose the Covid-19. The same is reflected in the patent filings and their expedited publications related to the Covid-19. It has been shown in the tabular format below.2. List of Patent Publications Related to (SARS-CoV-2)/Covid-19
In general, the publication of patent application takes place after 18 months from the filing date or the earliest priority date of the application. However, considering the situation the Covid-19 as pandemic and global emergency, the patent applications filed concerning invention related to Covid-19. These are being published in a few days, and the same has been shown in the following table. However, interesting to note that the patent publication CN107245095A was filed in the year 2017, discloses peptide inhibitors that can suppress novel coronaviruses that outbreak at some uncertain time point in the future.
3. Geographical Distribution:
The following graphs show the geographical distribution of patent publications. China and the United States are being the major destinations for patent publications for both SARS-CoV and MERS coronavirus. Approximately 50% of the patent publications are distributed over these two countries.4.Top Patent holders:
The following graphs show the top patent holders. Chinese Academy of Science from China and the United States Health & Human Services from the US is being the major patent holders.Conclusion: This article explains a brief overview of coronaviruses that infect the humans and the IP activity of human coronaviruses that severely infect and cause death.
Keywords: Coronavirus, SARS, MERS, Covid-19, novel coronavirus, Severe acute respiratory syndrome, Middle East respiratory syndrome