The packaging industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by automation, recyclability, and increasing the shelf life of the product, and growing importance of technologies such as biodegradable packaging, Internet of Things, and active packaging. In the last three years alone, there have been over 427,000 patents filed and granted in the packaging industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in packaging: clamshell-type preformed packaging.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilizing and reaching maturity. 

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Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have. 

30+ innovations will shape the packaging industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the packaging industry using innovation intensity models built on over 77,000 patents, there are 30+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, cellulose fiber 3D printing, biodegradable packaging films, and multilayer barrier films with energy recovery are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. RFID packaging, anti-counterfeiting bottle caps, and clamshell-type packaging are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are resealable medication vials and synthetic resin containers, which are now well established in the industry. 

Innovation S-curve for the packaging industry

Clamshell-type preformed packaging is a key innovation area in packaging 

Clamshell packaging is usually made of thermoformed plastic and the edges, if required, can be sealed for ensuring airtight protection.  

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 160+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established packaging companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of clamshell-type preformed packaging. 

Key players in clamshell-type preformed packaging – a disruptive innovation in the packaging industry  

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to clamshell-type preformed packaging

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
General Electric 45 Unlock Company Profile
Bradford 43 Unlock Company Profile
Parjointco 41 Unlock Company Profile
Belron France 36 Unlock Company Profile
China International Marine Containers (Group) 25 Unlock Company Profile
Daikyo Seiko 24 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 24 Unlock Company Profile
Tupperware Brands 18 Unlock Company Profile
Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology 14 Unlock Company Profile
ThyssenKrupp 14 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 14 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 13 Unlock Company Profile
Valeo 12 Unlock Company Profile
Sartorius 12 Unlock Company Profile
Deere 12 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 11 Unlock Company Profile
Vestas Wind Systems 11 Unlock Company Profile
Caterpillar 10 Unlock Company Profile
CARBO Ceramics 10 Unlock Company Profile
Airbus 10 Unlock Company Profile
Give And Go Prepared Foods 10 Unlock Company Profile
Gordon Murray Design 10 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 10 Unlock Company Profile
Gamesa Innovation & Technology 9 Unlock Company Profile
Fayat 8 Unlock Company Profile
Db Equipment 8 Unlock Company Profile
Tecsis Tecnologia e Sistemas Avancados 8 Unlock Company Profile
SPC 8 Unlock Company Profile
Thule Group 7 Unlock Company Profile
Western Global 7 Unlock Company Profile
Lohr Industrie 7 Unlock Company Profile
Deutsche Post 7 Unlock Company Profile
Groupe 6 Unlock Company Profile
Midea Group 6 Unlock Company Profile
Gode 6 Unlock Company Profile
Safran 6 Unlock Company Profile
Smurfit Kappa 6 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 6 Unlock Company Profile
B&W International 5 Unlock Company Profile
Rolls-Royce 5 Unlock Company Profile
Shanghai Yongzheng Network Technology 5 Unlock Company Profile
Groupe Guillin 5 Unlock Company Profile
Gree Electric Appliances 5 Unlock Company Profile
Fritz Schafer 4 Unlock Company Profile
Burelle 4 Unlock Company Profile
Saudi Arabian Oil 4 Unlock Company Profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 4 Unlock Company Profile
Cummins 4 Unlock Company Profile
FRIMA VAFLER 4 Unlock Company Profile
Rti Sports Vertrieb Von Sportartikeln 4 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

General Electric is the leading patent filer in clamshell-type preformed packaging. Some other key patent filers in the space include Bradford Company, Parjointco, Belron France, and China International Marine Containers (Group).  

In terms of application diversity, Vestas Wind Systems leads the pack, while Safran and B&W International stand in second and third positions, respectively. 

By means of geographic reach, Belron France holds the top position, followed by Daikyo Seiko and Tupperware Brands.  

Clamshell-type preformed packaging will continue to be important due to features such as increased safety, space optimization, and product visibility through transparent packages. 

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the packaging industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Packaging.

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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.