Dow Patent Documents

Patent applications for Arabidopsis bulk sequences made by Dow Chemical Co.

The following are patent applications by Dow Chemical Co. These applications cover a large number of claimed sequences (7,554 SEQ ID NOs in the first below). However, these applications contain sequences from a number of different organisms. Thus, not all the sequences are specifically from Arabidopsis. Claims are targeted towards sequences that result in altered metabolic, visual, and disease tolerance characteristics (i.e. those that have possible utility). There are 177 Arabidopsis sequences claimed in the first application below, and the other plant sequences claimed (e.g. from Nicotiana benthamiana) may overlap with other dicot species (including some from Arabidopsis) – depending on the scope of claim language used.

Patent or Publication No. Title, Independent Claims and Summary Applicant
US 2005/91708 A1

  • Earliest priority – 31 Aug 2001
  • Filed – 30 Aug 2002
  • Granted – Pending
  • Expected expiry – N/A
Title – Nucleic acid compositions conferring altered metabolic characteristics

Claim 1 
An isolated nucleic acid selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NOs: 1-7554 and nucleic acid sequences that hybridize to any thereof under conditions of low stringency, wherein expression of said isolated nucleic acid in a plant results in an altered metabolic characteristic.
Claim 26
An isolated nucleic acid selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NOs: 1-7554 and nucleic acid sequences that hybridize to any thereof under conditions of low stringency for use in producing plants with an altered metabolic characteristic.
Claim 28
A method for identifying altered metabolic characteristics in a biological system comprising isolation of metabolites, comparing for altered metabolic characteristics relative to a control or reference using a bioinformatics system and suitable analytical methodology.

The claims are generally drawn to:

  • An isolated nucleic acid selected from the group consisting of
    • SEQ ID NOs: 1-7554 and
    • nucleic acid sequences that hybridize to any thereof under conditions of low stringency,
      • wherein expression of said isolated nucleic acid in a plant results in an altered metabolic characteristic.

Conditions of low stringency may allow many of these sequences to hybridise to a range of sequences from dicots, monocots, and fungi.  Thus these are very broad claims, and unlikely to be granted in their present state. The properties and binding characteristics of the “Artificial” sequences would require further analysis to determine whether they overlap with Arabidopsis sequences…

  • An isolated nucleic acid selected from the group consisting of
    • SEQ ID NOs: 1-7554 and
    • nucleic acid sequences that hybridize to any thereof under conditions of low stringency
  • for use in producing plants with an altered metabolic characteristic.

As above…

  • A method for identifying altered metabolic characteristics in a biological system comprising
    • isolation of metabolites,
    • comparing for altered metabolic characteristics relative to a control or reference using a bioinformatics system and
    • suitable analytical methodology.

This method claim is not well defined, and is very broad in scope.  It is unlikely that the specifications and descriptions in the patent itself are enough to enable all aspects of these claims. Which metabolites? What isolation method? What metabolic characteristics? What bioinformatics system? What is a “suitable analytic methodology”?

Original Applicant:

THE DOW CHEMICAL COMPANY,
P. O. BOX 1967,  MIDLAND, MI, 48641-1967, US

Remarks The following organism sequences are present in the application:
“Artificial” (5,807), Trichoderma harzianum (1,095), Nicotiana benthamiana (261), Arabidopsis thaliana (177), Poppy (83), Oryza sativa (78), and Saccharomyces cereviseae (59). The total number of sequences in the file header was 7,560, which does not match either the totals here, or the number of claimed sequences (implying that there may be typographical errors in the original sequence file, or as-yet unidentified organism identifiers in the datafiles).
WO 2003/020936 A1 There is a corresponding PCT application that deals with the same sequences. However, no other applications could be found at this time in other jurisdictions.

Dow Agrosciences has a similar application for a group of 2,000 sequences:

Patent or Publication No. Title, Independent Claims and Summary Applicant
US2004/249146 A1

  • Earliest priority – 31 Aug 2001
  • Filed – 26 Jul 2004
  • Granted – Pending
  • Expected expiry – N/A
Title – Nucleic acid compositions conferring altered visual phenotypes

Claim 1An isolated nucleic acid selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NOs: 1-2065 and nucleic acid sequences that hybridize to any thereof under conditions of low stringency, wherein expression of said isolated nucleic acid in a plant results in an altered visual phenotype.
Claim 12An isolated nucleic acid selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NOs: 1-2065 and nucleic acid sequences that hybridize to any thereof under conditions of low stringency for use in producing a plant with an altered visual phenotype.

The claims are generally drawn to:

An isolated nucleic acid selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NOs: 1-2065 and nucleic acid sequences that hybridize to any thereof under conditions of low stringency, wherein expression of said isolated nucleic acid in a plant results in an altered visual phenotype.

An isolated nucleic acid selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NOs: 1-2065 and nucleic acid sequences that hybridize to any thereof under conditions of low stringency for use in producing a plant with an altered visual phenotype.

Original Applicant:
DOW AGROSCIENCES LLC , 9330 ZIONSVILLE RD, INDIANAPOLIS, IN, 46268,

Remarks Many of the sequences in this application have no clear indication of which organism they are from.  Many only have numerical identifiers, and it is difficult to tell which are from Arabidopsis.  Additionally, we could not find a sequence file deposited with the USPTO (one must exist however), and so we could not easily identify Arabidopsis sequences using this method. We chose several OCRed sequences from the sequence list and discovered that they were not present in GenBank at NCBI.
WO 0003/00020741 A1 There is a corresponding PCT application that deals with the same sequences. However, no other applications could be found at this time in other jurisdictions.