Protein products have expanded beyond their initial market of sports nutrition into consumers’ everyday diets. With this expansion comes the need for innovation in protein sources, improved taste and delivery, and functional products meeting specific consumer needs.
Patent applications directed to protein-related inventions peaked in 2014 and were followed by a 55 percent decline in 2015. Whether the decline was a return to the mean or the indication of a new market trend remains to be seen. The decrease in patent application filings could be due to restrictions on patenting naturally derived products (instituted in 2014), which has a limiting effect on new patent applications.
Vegetable sources of protein may meet specific consumer health needs or preferences. While milk sources were previously the main target for innovation, plant-based protein has recently overtaken milk as the focus of patent activity.
Leading protein innovators include companies with a history of creating nutrition and food products. Since dairy is a major source of protein, several dairy companies also have substantial patent portfolios related to protein innovation.
When it comes to trademarks filed the last five years, the occurrence of the term “protein” steadily increased. This may indicate a greater market for protein products and a greater need to protect them.
Learn more about protein intellectual property (IP) trends in INSIDER’s Protein Innovation Digital Magazine.
Attorney Andreas Baltatzis is a director at KramerAmado PC, a boutique law firm specializing in intellectual property (IP). He represents a number of innovative nutritional supplement and nutraceutical companies that improve people’s lives every day. Baltatzis also helps companies prepare and implement IP strategies by obtaining patents and trademarks that protect their innovations and cash flow, as well as advising clients on successfully launching new products and brands.
Gideon Eckhouse is a senior associate at KramerAmado, with more than 10 years of experience in patents and trademarks. He assists innovative nutritional supplement and nutraceutical companies in protecting their IP throughout the world. Eckhouse counsels and implements global trademark strategies for new brand launches. Additionally, he prepares and prosecutes patent portfolios protecting new products coming to market.