Approximate scope of claims

Both entities have claims directed to methods and products, but they address different aspects of the 35S promoter. In general terms,

  • Monsanto’s patents are directed to chimeric genes containing the 35S or the 19S promoter controlling a heterologous gene, and
  • The Rockefeller University’s patents are directed to the DNA sequences of the individual subdomains of the 35S promoter, combinations of them, and the use of B subdomains in particular to form tissue-specific promoters.

In the U.S., there are currently four patents granted to Monsanto and two patents granted to The Rockefeller University. This situation may change over time as additional applications may be pending and some may lapse;  if you are aware of more current information, please add comments on this page or on the page giving details on the patents and claims.

The U.S. claims cover:

  • Monsanto
    • “Chimeric genes” having the CaMV 35S promoter or the CaMV 19S promoter, a heterologous gene and a poly(A) signal;
    • In particular, such genes in which the heterologous gene confers antibiotic resistance to a transformed plant;
    • Plant transformation vectors, both intermediates and vectors having a chimeric gene as described;
    • Differentiated dicot plants containing these chimeric genes; and
    • Methods for transforming plant cells with these chimeric genes.
  • The Rockefeller University
    • Isolated DNA sequences of four of the five subdomains of domain B of the CaMV 35S promoter;
    • The same sequences of the B subdomains linked to domain A of the 35S promoter and to the minimal promoter region of the 35S promoter;
    • Sequence of a tissue-specific promoter corresponding to domain B of the 35S promoter;
    • Method for the tissue-specific expression of a chimeric gene by using domain B coupled to the domain A of the 35S promoter.

Claims in the European patent granted to Monsanto covered a “chimeric gene” very similar to the one claimed in the U.S., except that the promoter is limited to the 35S promoter and the chimeric gene also contains a 5′ non-translated region.  This patent has now lapsed, but it is worth mentioning because the European patent as first granted was opposed by several institutions. The claim, in the application as originally filed, was directed to a promoter from a plant virus, which could be from any plant virus, not only from CaMV.  After the opposition, the promoter was restricted to the CaMV 35S promoter.

The specific patent information and a summary of the independent claims of each patent are presented in the following tables.