Innovation is all around us. Whether in the form of small improvements to mature technologies or completely new developments in cutting-edge technologies, innovation helps us reduce inequalities and improve health and well-being. Here we celebrate one example of the many innovations that made it possible for athletes to compete in the Beijing 2022 Paralympics last month.

This new lower limb prosthesis makes it easier for leg amputee skiers to take on challenging slopes. Until now, standard artificial knee joints have not been able to withstand this level of high-impact, strenuous activity, so leg amputee skiers have often ended up skiing on one leg only. This invention provides for better joint control and a more comfortable skiing experience, allowing skiers to feel safer and to focus on their pursuit of a medal.

Lower limb prosthesis

Figure 1- EP2462901B1 Lower limb prosthesis

Innovations such as this will not only help Paralympic athletes achieve their full potential. Over time, they will also find increasing use outside elite sports and benefit the daily lives of many other people with disabilities. So every improvement, no matter how big or small, can make a difference when it comes to reducing inequalities and improving health. Did you know that the creator of a similar invention in this field (a "controllable prosthetic joint system") was named finalist during the European Inventor Awards 2016?


Ready to put your skills and knowledge to the test?

Using Global Patent Index or Espacenet, can you find the following information:

  1. Which CPC subgroup inventions in the area of artificial orthotic or prosthetic knee joints typically fall under?
  2. What are the top three publication offices in this area?
  3. Who are the top three applicants?

More information

Competing in winter sports with one leg and a prosthetic

Solution to
previous challenge

PATSTAT Online solution

US6182453B1 Portable, potable water recovery and dispensing apparatus.
 Entfernter Datenzugang und Steuerungssystem.
 Apparatus for the production of freshwater from extremely hot and humid air.

Using PATSTAT Online, input the following code into the Expert mode:

SELECT distinct appln_id, appln_auth, appln_nr, appln_filing_date
FROM tls201_appl
appln_id in (select appln_id from tls209_appln_ipc where ipc_class_symbol like 'E03B   3%')
appln_id in (select appln_id from tls224_appln_cpc where cpc_class_symbol like 'E03B   3%')

Then, under Statistics, select the Patent Indicator feature. In Parameters, input "1" for "Number of DOCDB families which cite this family". A graph of the inventions with the most family citations will then appear, as below:

patenticulars keyvisual two

Espacenet solution

In descending order, the top applicant countries are Germany, the US and South Korea. Likewise, the top inventor countries are the US, South Korea and Germany.

Using Espacenet, conduct this search. Then sort by Family, and under Filters check the top applicant and inventor countries in the corresponding filter categories, as shown below:

patenticulars keyvisual three

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