Discussion

There have been several patent applications and patents awarded over the last few years as researchers have become aware that peripheral defocus and other methods are a significant factor in controlling myopia progression. The marketplace has yet to determine how these different claims will affect patient care and which, if any, of them will be recognized as a controlling force for new product development. The large international companies of the ophthalmic industry, such as CIBA Vision, Essilor, Novartis, Carl Zeiss and Johnson & Johnson are involved as well as institutions such as the New England College of Optometry (USA) and The Vision CRC (Australia).

The "background of the invention" section of the patents/applications is often a rich source of background data on the control of myopia progression.

Some of the applications/patents are listed in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) database. The United States applications/patents are from the United States Patent and Trademark Office but are referenced here through the google.com patents database because it is generally easier to navigate. Either database can be used.

Patents

Method of optical treatment Patent Number: 7506983 (2009) Inventor: Chi Ho To, Siu Yin Lam, Shau Kei Wan. "...the present invention provides methods for counteracting the development of myopia by enhancing myopic defocus. The present invention also provides methods for counteracting the development by enhancing hyperopic defocus. The apparatses used in practice of the present invention alter the defocus equilibrium of the eye to influence axial eye growth in a directio ntowards emmetropia."

Myopia progression control using bifocal contact lenses Patent number: 6752499 (2004) Inventor: Thomas A. Aller. "The present invention provides new methods and systems for treating myopia progression in myopic patients who also exhibit near point esophoria, esophoria at near, eso fixation disparity, and/or eso associated phoria by selectively prescribing bifocal (soft or rigid gas permeable) contact lenses to such patients."

Methods and apparatuses for altering relative curvature of field and positions of peripheral off-axis focal positions. Patent number: 7503655 (2006) Earl Leo Smith, Arthur Ho, Brien Anthony Holden. Assignee: The Vision CRC Limited. "Our present invention provides a method of abating, retarding or eliminating the progression of myopia or hypermetropia in an individual by controlling off-axis aberrations, through manipulating the curvature of field of a visual image in a predetermined fashion and ultimately altering, reducing or eliminating eye axial elongation."

Method and apparatus for reducing or eliminating the progression of myopia Patent number: 7401922 (2008) Inventor: Jerome Legerton Assignees: Synergeyes, Inc. "It is a further object of the present invention to provide methods and apparatus for the intentional creation of a predetermined aberration pattern in a lens-eye system, wherein the predetermined aberration pattern comprises a positive spherical aberration that produces a wavefront error in which the paracentral wavefront is disposed in front of the retina."

Ophthalmic lenses for prevention of myopia progression Patent number: 7637612 (2009) Inventor: Edgar V. Menezes. Assignees: Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. "The invention provides ophthalmic lenses and methods for their design and production, which lenses substantially prevent myopia progression. It is a discovery of this invention that myopia progression can be substantially prevented by providing a multifocal lens having an area of distance vision power in the center of the optic zone surrounded by at least one region that provides positive longitudinal spherical aberration."

Optical Treatment Method Patent number: 6045578 (2000); Inventor: Michael John Collins and Christine Frances Wildsoet; "Paraxial rays and marginal rays entering the eye do not share a common point ol focus in emmetropes, adults usually having a slightly positive spherical aberration. There is provided a method of treatment and prevention of myopia by inducing positive spherical aberration in the myopic eye."

Patent Applications

Prevention of Myopia Inventor: Bruce H. Dewoolfson. Application WO2011031948 Year: 2010 This is one of several patents by Euclid Systems Corporaton. They claim a method to stop myopia using orthokeratology lenses and a corneal stabilizing agent in various combinations for both myopes and people identified as at risk of becoming myopic.

MYOPIA CONTROL OPHTHALMIC LENSES Patent Application Number: 20100195044 (2010) Inventor: Michael J. Collins; "Lenses are designed using wavefront measurements amenable to correction factors for near and far vision as well as pupil size to slow or stop myopia progression." MyopiaPrevention.org: Johnson & Johnson

LENS DESIGN AND METHOD FOR PREVENTING OR SLOWING THE PROGRESSION OF MYOPIA Patent Application Number: 20100036489 (2010); Inventor: Lindacher, Joseph Michael, et al.; "A lens is provided that is capable of preventing or slowing the progression of myopia when worn by a person. The lens has a power profile that reduces on-axis and off-axis hyperopic defocus created by the optics of the eye by creating on-axis and off-axis myopic defocus. The on-axis and off-axis myopic defocus is created by providing light rays that pass through a central vision region of the optical portion and light rays that pass through a peripheral region of the optical portion an increase in positive (plus) power. The overall effect is to prevent or slow the progression of myopia without any perceptible degradation in the person's central vision. " MypopiaProgression.org comment: CIBA Vision Corporation

Contact Lens and Method for Prevention of Myopia Progression Inventor: John R. Phillips; Patent Application Number: 11/631,124 Year: 2008 "A method of slowing the progression of myopia in a person, comprising applying to the eye(s) of the person or prescribing for the person, a contact lens or lens(es) each including a vision correction area for correcting in use the myopic vision of a wearer, and a myopic defocus area which simultaneously in use presents a myopic defocused image to the wearer, to thereby counter abnormal axial elongation of the eye(s) of the wearer." MyopiaPrevention: Licensed to CooperVision

Method and Apparatus for Controlling Peripheral Image Position for Reducing Progression of Myopia. Application number: 11/622,246 (2007) Inventor: Arthur Ho, Earl Leo Smith, Padmaja Sankaridurg, Brien Anthony Holden. "We claim: 1. A method for reducing progression of refractive error comprising the steps of: providing an optical vision treatment device comprising a vision treatment zone and at least one vision priority zone; wherein said vision treatment zone is configured with a predetermined first optical design, said first optical design selected to effect control of forward-backward positions of peripheral off-axis focal points relative to a retina;"

MEANS FOR CONTROLLING THE PROGRESSION OF MYOPIA Application number: 11/758,441 (2007) Inventor: Brien Anthony Holden, Arthur Ho, Padmaja Rajagopal Sankaridurg, Thomas Arthur Aller, Earl Leo Smith, III. "The present invention provides a multi-zone contact lens for inhibiting the progression of myopia in an eye, a method of forming such a lens, and a method of inhibiting the progression of myopia in an eye by the use of such a lens. The lens basically has a central optical zone that approximates in size the normal pupil diameter of the eye and that has a refractive power selected or adapted to give the eye clear distance vision, and a peripheral optical zone that substantially falls outside the normal pupil diameter of the eye and that has a refractive power sufficient to focus oblique peripheral rays entering the patient's eye through the peripheral zone onto a focal plane located on or in front of the peripheral region of the retina."

Method for preventing myopia progression through identification and correction of optical aberrations. Application number: 12/213,451 (2008)Inventor: Frank Thorn, Richard Held, Jane E. Gwiazda, Ji C. He. Assignee: New England College of Optometry. "A method is provided for preventing myopia and/or retarding the progression of myopia by measuring optical aberrations in a human eye and correcting the optical aberrations."

PROGRESSIVE OPHTHALMIC LENS FOR MYOPIA CORRECTION AND METHOD FOR MAKING SUCH A LENS International Application No.: PCT/FR2008/050958 (2008). Inventor: Essilor. "The invention relates to a progressive ophthalmic lens for the correction of myopia, that comprises an upper area in which the correction is adapted for a peripheral vision of the wearer. Such a lens reduces the risk of long-term worsening of myopia for the lens wearer by reducing the defocalisation of an image formed on the retina outside the foveolar area." The application was denied based on the claims not being sufficiently new but a different version can be re-submitted.

A LENS DESIGN AND METHOD FOR PREVENTING OR SLOWING THE PROGRESSION OF MYOPIA International Application No.: PCT/US2009/052381 (2009) Inventor: Novartis AG. "The lens has a power profile that creates on-axis and off-axis myopic defocus to reduce on-axis and off-axis hyperopic defocus created by the optics of the eye. The on-axis and off-axis myopic defocus is created by providing an increase in positive (plus) power for central and peripheral light rays that pass through the central vision and peripheral regions, respectively, of the optical portion of the lens."

Ophthalmic Lens Element for Myopia Correction Application number: 12/083,227 (2009) Inventor: Saulius Raymond Varnas, Scott Warren Fisher, Ray Steven Spratt. Assignee: Carl Zeiss Vision Australia Holdings Limited. "The present invention provides an ophthalmic lens element that simultaneously improves focusing in the foveal region and the peripheral region of the retina of a myope's eye. Accordingly, the present invention is directed to an ophthalmic lens element that compensates for a varying focal plane of the eye so as to remove most, if not all, blur from the retina, at least for a primary viewing position. Such compensation removes a stimulus for myopic progression and thus corrects, or at least reduces the progression of myopia."