This is an extract from the 2017/2018 Agrow Annual Review which you can download in full below.
During 2017, there were 58 crop protection- related plant biotechnology patents released by the US Patent and Trademark Office. The big six crop protection companies claimed 41 filings, accounting for 71% of those filed patents, continuing their dominance of plant biotechnology innovations. Dow AgroSciences (now part of DowDuPont) led with 15, followed by DuPont/DuPont Pioneer (also now part of DowDuPont) with 14, Monsanto with 10, Syngenta and BASF with one each. Universities and research centres have also been the driving forces in 2017, filing nine claims among them, making up 16% of the total.
Sorted by main targeted crops, maize topped with 29 filings (50%), followed by soybeans with eight (14%), cotton with three (5%), tomatoes with two (3%), as well as wheat, rice, potatoes and others.
Sorted by the three main trait categories, insect resistance traits dominated with 32 filings (55%), followed by pathogen resistance traits with 20 (34%) and herbicide tolerance traits with three (5%). There were two filings with stacked traits (3%).
Within herbicide tolerance traits, glyphosate herbicide traits were among most patent applications with two filings, followed by diketonitrile (DKN), tembotrione (TBT), mesotrione (MST) and protoporphyrinogen oxidase (PPO) herbicide resistance traits with one.
Among insect resistance traits, coleopteran resistance traits ranked number one with 15 filings, followed by lepidopteran resistance traits with 12 and hemipteran resistance with one. As usual, Bt maize was the main research target.
Within the pathogen resistance traits, virus resistance was the subject of most filings with six, followed by Fusarium spp diseases with three, and others such as citrus huanglongbing, Pseudomonas syringae, Sclerotinia spp, powdery mildew, Phacopsoraceae spp and Peronopora spp.
In terms of the molecular means used for research, most of the claims were achieved by transgene expression with 53 filings (91%). The rest were obtained by marker assisted breeding and other means.