Johnson & Johnson is a very respected brand in the consumer medical devices and pharmaceutical goods industries. Well known for its highly recognizable personal care products, including Band-Aids, Neutrogena and Tylenol, Johnson & Johnson is also a major player in other healthcare fields. For example, a recent piece from the investment research online publication Seeking Alpha discussed the company’s attempts to build the world’s first artificial, fully-functioning pancreas.
As a result of all this research and development, Johnson & Johnson will often file patent applications with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. This week, IPWatchdog wants to take a look at the consumer and pharmaceutical health conglomerate to see what advances in personal medical care we can expect in the coming years. Perhaps the most exciting thing in our perusal of recent patents and patent applications is a patent just issued on certain topical anti-cancer compositions.
Many patent applications published also pertain to Johnson & Johnson’s extensive lineup of medical cosmetic products. One application would protect a dermabrasion kit with a detachable head for sensitive skin, and another was filed to protect a system of manufacturing bacteria-resistant contact lenses.
Johnson & Johnson is also focused on protecting medical devices designed by the company. Two other recent patent applications that we feature here are for punctal plugs (shown above right) and eye misting devices that can deliver medication directly to the body through the incredibly permeable membranes within the eye.
Topical Anti-Cancer Compositions and Methods of Use Thereof
U.S. Patent No. 8431550
Skin cells are impacted by a wide range of environmental hazards, including excessive ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can result in a form of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) occurring in an individual. Studies have shown that diets rich in certain vegetables, especially soybeans, may inhibit cancer from growing in patients. However, other studies also show that ingesting too much soybean in a regular diet can lead to negative health impacts in patients.
This patent, awarded in late April to Johnson & Johnson from the USPTO, protects a method of creating a topical cream from soybeans that provides anti-cancer benefits. The cream would be used in a preventative manner and applied to areas of the skin that encounter high levels of UV radiation. The topical treatment could also be applied to skin already suffering from NMSC to reduce the progression of the disease.
Claim 1 of this patent provides Johnson & Johnson with the right to legally protect:
“A method of reducing the risk of cutaneous tumor development in human skin, said method comprising topical application of at least one composition containing a non-denatured soy product in an amount of from about 0.01 to about 99% by weight in a carrier to human skin undamaged by ultraviolet B radiation and prior to exposure of the human skin to photocarcinogenic ultraviolet B radiation, wherein said non-denatured, soy product comprises a non-denatured, Kunitz-type soybean trypsin inhibitor.”
Preparation of Antimicrobial Contact Lenses with Reduced Hazing using Swelling Agents
U.S. Patent Application No. 20130109778
Contact lenses for vision improvement have been available to consumers since the 1950s. Recent developments in softer contact lens materials have resulted in consumer products that can be worn for a period of days without damaging a user’s eyes. Although these softer lenses are typically more comfortable for users, disease-inducing bacteria can build up if the lenses aren’t removed for cleaning.
Johnson & Johnson is attempting to protect a process of creating antimicrobial contact lenses using metal salts that would provide a bacterial-resistant surface to the lenses. The process also includes the use of swelling agents to increase the size of the lenses after metal salt treatment. The end product is a contact lens that can be worn for extended periods without bacterial buildup or any hazing caused by the metal salt use.
Claim 16 of this Johnson & Johnson patent application seeks protections for:
“An antimicrobial lens comprising, a metal salt, made by a method comprise the steps of (a) treating a cured lens, with a solution comprising salt precursor and a swelling agent, (b) treating the lens of step (a) with solution comprising a swelling agent for an appropriate time, and (c) treating the lens of step (b) with a solution comprising a metal agent and a swelling agent.”
Claims 1 through 15 were canceled.
Handheld, Personal Care Systems with Detachable Skin Care Elements
U.S. Patent Application No. 20130103052
Personal care devices for microdermabrasion and other exfoliation techniques are constructed with detachable elements for cleaning after use. These elements allow owners to continue using the device hygienically, but current methods of connecting the detachable elements can cause damage to a user’s skin. For example, metal tabs holding the exfoliating pad in place may scratch or cut a user.
This handheld personal care device, designed by Johnson & Johnson, contains a circular skin contact plate that is connected to the receptacle through a snap-fit connection, held in place by engagement arms. The metal arms and other connective devices are projected away from the outer surface, avoiding contact with a person’s skin during normal use.
As Claim 1 of this patent application states, Johnson & Johnson wants to protect:
“A skin care element holder for use with a handheld body having a receptacle, the skin care element holder comprising a substantially circular plate having a diameter between about 20 and about 60 mm, wherein: a. the substantially circular plate has: i. a first surface arranged and configured for coupling to the skin care element; ii. a second surface, opposite the first surface; and iii. an outer peripheral edge; and b. the second surface of the substantially circular plate has: i. at least one spacer leg extending from the second surface in a direction away from the first surface to support the plate in the receptacle; ii. a plurality of engagement arms extending from the second surface in a direction away from the first surface, at least one of said engagement arms comprising a snap-fit projection for engagement with a recess in the receptacle; iii. at least one key extending from the second surface in a direction away from the first surface that is arranged and configured to fit into a notch in the receptacle wherein the key comprises at least one raised portion extending radially inward from an outer perimeter of the plate.”
U.S. Patent Application 20130123718
Punctal plugs are tiny medical devices that rest in a patient’s tear duct. These have been used for years to aid against clinical conditions of dry eyes by preventing tears from draining through the tear duct. Recently, the use of active medical agents in punctal plugs to treat against disorders and diseases of the eye has increased. The wider use of punctal plugs requires upgrades to design modifications to account for differences in anatomy between patients.
This patent application filed by Johnson & Johnson would protect multiple designs of punctal plugs (shown above top) for use with different patients. In various embodiments, plug surfaces range from round to flat to provide a snug fit based on the shape of the patient’s tear duct. Flanges, cones and other design elements are also implemented to help plugs fit different ducts.
Claim 1 of this patent application would provide legal protections for:
“A lacrimal insert for delivering one or more active agents, the lacrimal insert comprising: an elongated main body having a first end and a second end, the elongated main body including a reservoir and a threaded portion; a collarette connected to the first end of the main body and having at least one opening in fluid communication with the reservoir, the collarette being concentrically positioned relative to the elongated main body; and a head section connected to the second end of the elongated main body, the head section including a flange portion having a lower surface with a spherical cone shape and an upper surface that is substantially flat, and a cone portion, the flange portion and the cone portion being non-concentrically positioned relative to the elongated main body.”
Method and Device for Dosage and Administration Feedback
U.S. Patent Application 20130085459
In physician’s offices, there are many tools that can be used to administer medications directly to a patient’s eyes. Many devices cause unsatisfactory levels of contamination or discomfort for patients in the attempt to overcome a patient’s blink reflex. These can include gun dispensers that shoot a liquid into the eye faster than the blink reflex can react, or automated devices that hold down a patient’s eyelids.
Johnson & Johnson has devised an eye medicament dispensing unit (EMDU) that overcomes these hygienic and comfort concerns by providing a light mist that showers medication onto a patient’s eye. The device contains an image sensor that indicates when an eye is aligned properly with the device and the blink rate for effectively medicating without wasting solution on a patient’s skin.
As Claim 1 of this Johnson & Johnson patent application describes, this was filed to protect:
“Apparatus for dispensing liquid into an Ophthalmic Environment, the apparatus comprising: an emitter functional to emit a wavelength of radiation in a direction towards an eye; a sensor functional to detect a reflecting wavelength based upon the emitted wavelength, wherein a reflecting wavelength will be different based upon whether the eye comprises an open state or a closed state; an automated dispenser for dispensing a liquid towards the eye based upon receipt of a logical signal; and a processor in logical communication with one or more of the emitter; the sensor and the automated dispenser, wherein the processor transmits a logic signal based upon an electrical signal from the sensor indicating whether the eye is in an open state or a closed state.”