The packaging industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by light weight, smart packaging, convenience and ease of handling, and growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence, 3D printing, and nano technology. 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: resealable medication vials. Buy the report here.

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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.

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 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

Resealable medication vials is a key innovation area in packaging

Resealable medication vial refers to a type of vial for storing medication that can be opened and closed multiple times without impacting the integrity of the medication. These vials are typically made of plastic and may feature frangible connecting members and delivery passages for easy dispensing of the medication.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 70+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established packaging companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of resealable medication vials.

Key players in resealable medication vials – 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 resealable medication vials

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Becton Dickinson 192 Unlock Company Profile
ICU Medical 51 Unlock Company Profile
Grifols 49 Unlock Company Profile
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries 37 Unlock Company Profile
Schott Kaisha 37 Unlock Company Profile
Yaskawa Electric 36 Unlock Company Profile
J&J Solutions 34 Unlock Company Profile
Pfizer 30 Unlock Company Profile
F. Hoffmann-La Roche 28 Unlock Company Profile
Medical Instill Technologies 27 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 26 Unlock Company Profile
Thermo Fisher Scientific 26 Unlock Company Profile
Baxter International 24 Unlock Company Profile
West Pharmaceutical Services 22 Unlock Company Profile
Corvida Medical 20 Unlock Company Profile
Yuyama 20 Unlock Company Profile
Omnicell 19 Unlock Company Profile
Automobile Reseau Tunisien et Services 18 Unlock Company Profile
Takazono 15 Unlock Company Profile
Vygon 14 Unlock Company Profile
DEKA Research and Development 13 Unlock Company Profile
Danaher 13 Unlock Company Profile
Midea Group 13 Unlock Company Profile
Septodont 13 Unlock Company Profile
Fresenius 12 Unlock Company Profile
Orofino Pharmaceuticals Group 11 Unlock Company Profile
Sanofi 11 Unlock Company Profile
Tandem Diabetes Care 11 Unlock Company Profile
Novartis 11 Unlock Company Profile
Biocorp Production 10 Unlock Company Profile
Minipumps 9 Unlock Company Profile
Sartorius 8 Unlock Company Profile
Biocorp Recherche Et Developpement 8 Unlock Company Profile
Pharmac 8 Unlock Company Profile
Vetter & Co Apotheker 8 Unlock Company Profile
Vetter Pharma-Fertigung 8 Unlock Company Profile
REHAU Automotive 8 Unlock Company Profile
Lohmann & Rauscher International 8 Unlock Company Profile
Shl Medical 7 Unlock Company Profile
National Instruments 6 Unlock Company Profile
Cardinal Health 6 Unlock Company Profile
Hainan Weikang Pharmaceutical (Qianshan) 6 Unlock Company Profile
Coherus BioSciences 6 Unlock Company Profile
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries 6 Unlock Company Profile
Credence MedSystems 6 Unlock Company Profile
RescueDose 6 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 6 Unlock Company Profile
AMW 6 Unlock Company Profile
NewIcon 5 Unlock Company Profile
Novo Nordisk Foundation 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Becton Dickinson is one of the leading patent filers in resealable medication vials. Some other key patent filers in the space include ICU Medical, Grifols, and Schott Kaisha. The Serum Institute of India has acquired a 50% ownership stake in Schott Kaisha, a company specializing in the production of pharmaceutical packaging items such as vials, syringes, ampoules, and cartridges. The acquisition is strategically aimed at enhancing the Serum Institute of India's position in the market for top-notch pharmaceutical packaging, responding to the increasing global demand for these products.

In terms of application diversity, DEKA Research and Development leads the pack, while Novartis and Fresenius stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Schott Kaishaheld the top position, followed by Pfizer and ICU Medical.

Resealable medication vials are gaining popularity in the pharmaceutical industry as they provide several advantages over traditional single-use vials or blister packs. Safety and freshness, convenience, accurate dosing, and reduced wastage are some of the factors driving their increasing use.

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.