Technology Trends for Developing Helmet Patents Kwon, JuYoun;
Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the technology trend on developing helmets based on the analysis of Korean, US, European and PCT patents. Background: The usage of the personal protective equipment such as the safety helmet would be essential for preventing injuries and reducing the severity of injuries depending on the type of activity and the exposed environment. Method: Database of WIPSON was used for searching the patents. The objects were the Korean, US, European and PCT patents registered or opened from January 2011 to December 2014. The keyword to investigate was helmet, and International Patent Classification (IPC) was used for investigating the technology trend of the patents. Results: The cases of US patents annually increased, but the cases of European patents decreased. US patents belonged to all sections but Korean and European patents and PCT patents did not. The largest number of IPC, to which four areas' patents belonged, was 'Headwear' and the second largest one was 'Hygiene'. In the subgroup level, the most common largest subgroups were 'Parts, details or accessories of helmets' and 'Masks, shields, or hoods for welders'. Korean patents had the lowest ratio of single_IPC at 11%, but the ratios of single_IPC for US and European patents were 52%, respectively. 'Human necessities', 'Mechanical engineering', 'Physics', and 'Electricity' were used as a single_IPC, but lower levels of 'Performing operations', 'Chemistry', 'Textiles' and 'Fixed constructions' were used as multi_IPC. Most main applicants had patents which belonged to 'Human necessities'. Conclusion: The cases of US patents annually increased unlike others. The common technologies for creating the helmet were Parts of helmets under Headwear and Shields for welders under Hygiene. Many Korean patents tended to be categorized as multi_IPC, different from others. Application: To know the technological characteristic of patents would be helpful to initial stage developers.