Biotech Updates

Scientists Call For Transgenic Events' IP Protection in China

December 3, 2010

As the key achievement of transgenic breeding R&D, transgenic event and its intellectual property (IP) protection lay solid foundation for the commercialization of transgenic crops. Liu Lijun and his colleagues from Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), and China Center for Intellectual Property in Agriculture, analyzed the status of the patent protection for transgenic events of major crops around the world and enlightened the orientation of efforts in China. The research is published in the latest issue of China Biotechnology.

Results showed that currently, majority of the transgenic events of major crops are held by multinational agro-biological companies, such as Monsanto, Syngenta and Bayer. About 40 percent of the events are filed for patent protection. There are 22 applications in China with 6 applications already granted. The number of claims is around 20 per patent on the average, which cover key technical features like flanking sequence and insertion sequence. The boundaries almost prevent any unauthorized commercial use. In contrast, China has not filed actual patents on its self-owned events except the patent of the Bt rice "Huahui No.1" which was granted biosafety certificate last year.

Thus, Liu put forward following suggestions to Chinese policy makers to dominate the industrialization of biotechnology crops in China:

  • intensively foster self-owned Intellectual Property on Events;
  • analyze the dynamic trends of targeted foreign patents;
  • broaden the patent protection scope of Chinese developed transgenic events;
  • achieve a higher degree of patent protection on self-owned transgenic events; and
  • set up a fully- integrated IP protection system for the agro-biotechnology industry.
For the abstract in Chinese, please visit, For more biotech info of China, please contact Prof. Zhang Hongxiang: from ChinaBIC.