The gut microbiome: patent landscape


*Corresponding author
University of Minnesota Law School, Patent Law Programs, Minneapolis, USA


Technological developments in the gut microbiome food and beverage field are booming as evidenced by the volume of patent filings. This report describes a “landscape” of gut microbiome food patents. This report identifies over 600 patent documents directed to the gut microbiome in the food space and includes an analysis of the patent documents for trends such as major technologies, assignees, and geographical distribution. From this report, it is apparent patent activities in the gut microbiome field expanded rapidly in the past ten years — suggesting a potential impact on research and development (R&D), business, and strategy decisions.


The last decade witnessed immense progress in the area of gut microbiome research (1). The gut microbiome regulates several physiological functions in the human body such as metabolism, immune system development, digestion, etc. (2). The key factors driving this area are our broader understanding of the interaction between commensal microbes and their host, and emerging parallel technologies such as genome sequencing and metagenomic analysis. The gut microbiome dysbiosis is associated with several disease conditions. Factors such as diet, environment, host genetics, etc. may be the reason behind the wide microbial diversity/dysbiosis. Currently, the most actively explored area of gut microbiome research is the formulation of strategies to modulate and restore the healthy gut microbiome. Prebiotics, probiotics, antibiotics treatment, and fecal microbiota transplantation or FMT are the most commonly used treatment procedures (3).


A limited number of patent landscapes comprehensively address the gut microbiome in the food space, even though R&D activities in this field experienced an exponential increase. This report aims to de ...