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Microfluidic Technologies for Diagnostic Applications Patent Landscape

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New comers and emerging applications for oncology and infectious diseases are driving the growth of microfluidics IP



Microfluidic technologies have brought numerous advantages in diagnostic applications: smaller systems, small sample volume, near-patient technologies, reduced processing time and cost reduction. The scope of applications for microfluidic technologies for diagnostic applications is very broad: genetic, infectious, oncology, blood coagulation or cardiac pathology. It impacts therapeutic approaches by allowing a specific and quick detection and characterization of the disease as well as an easier evolution monitoring.

The patent landscape related to microfluidic technologies claiming diagnostic applications is very open, providing space for both academic and industrial applicants. This landscape represents more than 1,150 families, including over 4,500 patents, and over 500 patent applicants are involved. Surprisingly, several important market players on the field of microfluidic technologies do not appear among the main patent applicants, and unexpected companies in this field, such as HP, have filed a lot of patents recently. Thereby this report provides an interesting overview on the IP situation.

Technology issues Microfluidic Tech Diagnostic App Patent 2017 KnowMade
Microfluidics are cross-disciplinary technologies and a lot of patented systems can be adapted for various applications. Therefore, although some key market companies do not appear among the main patent assignees, they are nevertheless involved in several patent infringement cases. Moreover, our partner Yole Développement has estimated recently that the market for microfluidic chips and microfluidic-based tests for point-of-need testing applications, which is only a part of microfluidic for diagnostic domain, should increase from $6 billion in 2015 to $ 17.2 billion in 2021. Thus, the number of patent litigations cases related to microfluidic technologies in the biomedical domain is expected to increase. Therefore, it is essential to know key patent applicants in this area and understand their IP strategies.

The analysis of the technical issues addressed by patents related to microfluidic technologies for diagnostic applications supports what we observed on the market. This indicates that the patented technologies are linked to the market and have a high potential for application.



The report provides a ranking and analysis of the relative strength of the top patent holders derived from their portfolio size, patent citation networks, countries of patent filings, current legal status of patents. Through this in depth analysis, we have identified 15+ major players, each of which is profiled in this report. Each profile includes a detailed portfolio analysis with patent activities, key patents, impact of portfolio, granted patents near expiration and IP strategies.

The IP landscape for microfluidic technologies for diagnostic applications is shared between industrial and academic players. Among the main applicants, a lot of American companies appear.

Leadership Patent Applicants Microfluidic Tech Diagnostic App 2017 KnowMade



The IP activity of American applicants involved in microfluidic technologies for diagnostic applications can explain the predominance of US patent filings observed. However, all non-American main applicants also choose US as main priority country. China and Europe represent a particular interest for further patent extensions. Current main IP applicants include players with a steady IP activity who are extending their portfolio to different countries as well as new players with an intense IP activity in 2016.

Mapping Main Current IP Applicants Tech Diagnostic App 2017 KnowMade



The strength index of a patent portfolio is linked to the number of forward citations received. In this analysis, Caltech is ranked first with a medium sized patent portfolio. Caltech owns two key patent families claiming microfluidic nucleic acid analysis and its patent portfolio is cited a lot by Fluidigm. Other, such as Ningbo University, hold large portfolio, but it shows a very low strength index. Its patented technologies are rather young and have currently a very low impact in the domain of microfluidics for diagnostic applications.

This report also includes an Excel database containing all of the analyzed patents. The database allows for multi-criteria searches and includes patent publication number, hyperlinks to the original documents, priority date, title, abstract, patent assignees and legal status for each member of the patent family.

Strengh Index Patent Portfolio Microfluidic Tech Diagnostic App 2017 KnowMade


Table of contents

Introduction 4

> Microfluidic technologies for diagnostic applications
> Scope of the report
> Related reports
> Key features of the report
> Objectives of the report



Main Assignees 12

Methodology 20

> Patent search, selection and analysis
> Search strategy
> Terminologies for patent analysis


Executive Summary 25


Patent Landscape Overview 76

> Time evolution of patent publications
> Countries of patent filings
> Time evolution by country of filing
> Ranking of main patent applicants
> Ranking of main players
> Time evolution of main patent applicants
> Countries of filings for main patent applicants
> Mapping of main current IP holders
> Mapping of main current IP applicants
> Summary of applicant’s patent portfolio
> IP leadership of patent applicants
> Degree of specialization
> Citations analysis
> Strength index of patent portfolios
> IP blocking potential of patent applicants
> Patent applicants IP network
> Key patent families
> Granted patents near expiration

Technical Issues 51

> Main IPC classes
> Time evolution by IPC
> Matrix main priority countries / main IPC
> Matrix main applicants / main IPC
> Search equations
> Material
> Disease
> Diagnostic technique
> Conclusions



Main Patent Litigations  77


IP Profile of Key Players 83

> Abbott
> Agilent Technologies
> Becton Dickinson
> Caltech
> GPB Scientific
> HP
> Micronics
> Philips
> Roche
> Samsung Electronics
> Siemens
> Ningbo University
> University of California


Conclusions 99


Knowmade Presentation

About the authors

Knowmade is a Patent, Technology and Strategy consulting company involved in Microelectronics, Nanotechnology, Biotechnology and Life Sciences.


We provide Patent Search, Patent Landscape, Patent Analysis, Scientific Landscape, State of the Art, Technology Scouting, Technology Tracking, Alerts and Updates.


Our service offer consists of standard reports, custom studies & on-demand tracking, strategy consulting and training.


We combine information search services, scientific expertise, powerful analytics and visualization tools, and proprietary methodologies for analyzing patents and scientific information.


Knowmade supports research laboratories, industrial companies and investors in their business development. 



























  • The report provides essential patent data for microfluidic technologies for diagnostic applications including:

  • Time evolution of patent publications and countries of patent filings

  • Current legal status of patents

  • Ranking of main patent applicants

  • Joint developments and IP collaboration network

  • Key patents and granted patents near expiration

  • Relative strength of main companies IP portfolio

  • IP profiles of 15 major companies

  • The report also provides an extensive Excel database with all patents analyzed in the study