The packaging industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by light weight, sustainability, smart packaging, convenience, and ease of handling and the 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: waterproof organic paper. 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

Waterproof organic paper is a key innovation area in packaging

Waterproof organic paper refers to a type of paper that has been treated or coated to become resistant to water absorption. The treatment or coating prevents water from penetrating the paper fibers, making it suitable for applications where water resistance is required.

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 50 companies, spanning technology vendors, established packaging companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of waterproof organic paper.

Key players in waterproof organic paper – 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 waterproof organic paper

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Stora Enso 186 Unlock Company Profile
International Paper 36 Unlock Company Profile
delfortgroup 25 Unlock Company Profile
Clariant 20 Unlock Company Profile
Yagna 19 Unlock Company Profile
Kemira 17 Unlock Company Profile
Kuraray 13 Unlock Company Profile
Humanitarian Scientific 12 Unlock Company Profile
Mondi 11 Unlock Company Profile
AGC 11 Unlock Company Profile
Daikin Industries 10 Unlock Company Profile
Mativ 9 Unlock Company Profile
Tetra Laval International 9 Unlock Company Profile
OrganoClick 7 Unlock Company Profile
Visy Industries 7 Unlock Company Profile
Philip Morris International 7 Unlock Company Profile
Oji 7 Unlock Company Profile
BASF 7 Unlock Company Profile
HS Manufacturing Group 5 Unlock Company Profile
Solenis Technologies Cayman 4 Unlock Company Profile
Dow 4 Unlock Company Profile
Creapaper 4 Unlock Company Profile
Mayr-Melnhof Karton 4 Unlock Company Profile
Archroma IP 3 Unlock Company Profile
Tetra Laval & Finance 3 Unlock Company Profile
Metsaliitto Cooperative 3 Unlock Company Profile
Eastman Chemical 2 Unlock Company Profile
Ashland 2 Unlock Company Profile
Apeel Technology 2 Unlock Company Profile
Roquette Freres 2 Unlock Company Profile
Fujian Qingshan Paper Industry 2 Unlock Company Profile
Billerud 2 Unlock Company Profile
PulPac 2 Unlock Company Profile
Changde Jinde New Material Technology 1 Unlock Company Profile
Dongguan Shunyu Paper Industry 1 Unlock Company Profile
Tokyo Ink 1 Unlock Company Profile
The United States Of America 1 Unlock Company Profile
Sinar Mas 1 Unlock Company Profile
Xianhe 1 Unlock Company Profile
WORLD CENTRIC 1 Unlock Company Profile
Shanying International 1 Unlock Company Profile
Mudanjiang Hengfeng Paper 1 Unlock Company Profile
Jinan Shengquan Group 1 Unlock Company Profile
Best Result 1 Unlock Company Profile
U.S. Department of Agriculture 1 Unlock Company Profile
Aqualon 1 Unlock Company Profile
Yueyang Forest and Paper 1 Unlock Company Profile
Nine Dragons Paper 1 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Paper Industries 1 Unlock Company Profile
Formosa Plastics Group 1 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Stora Enso is one of the leading patent filers in waterproof organic paper. Some other key patent filers in the space include International Paper, delfortgroup, and Clariant. Unilever unveiled a fresh packaging approach for its Carte d’Or ice cream line in Italy. The container and its cover are fashioned entirely from renewable fibers certified by PEFC, boasting a biodegradable barrier coating. The innovation renders the packaging waterproof, making it well-suited for housing ice cream. The Carte d’Or packages are manufactured by Seda Packaging Group in Naples, employing Cupforma Natura, a material developed by Stora Enso.

In terms of application diversity, PulPac leads the pack, while Tokyo Ink and OrganoClick stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Clariant held the top position, followed by Yagna  and delfortgroup.

Waterproof organic paper will find increased adoption in the coming years, as the packaging industry is under pressure to adopt sustainable practices. Waterproof organic paper can be used in packaging for various products, including food, cosmetics, and personal care items, offering a waterproof solution that is also biodegradable.

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.