A bar gene from Alcaligenes sp and other gram-negative bacteria

The third patent family making up the Bayer Crop Science portfolio was originally assigned to Hoechst AG. The patent family is directed to a bar gene isolated from gram-negative, non-spore forming, (facultative) aerobic bacteria. In the U.S., the claims recite an isolated gene and enzyme restricted to Alcaligenes sp. The use of this gene(s) to confer resistance to glutamine synthetase inhibitors in plants is dominated by the broad claims of the earlier PGS patent family, now part of the same IP portfolio.

A summary of the claims of the patents based on the bar gene from the Alcaligenes sp patent family are presented below.

EP 290986 B1 23 Jun 1993 This patent covers bar genes isolated from basically any Gram-negative, non-spore forming, (facultative) aerobic bacterium, e.g. Alcaligenes, Agrobacterium, Pseudomonas, and various enterobacteria, as opposed to gram-positive Streptomyces spp from which the gene was first isolated.
US 5077399 31 Dec 1991 A phosphinothricin resistance gene isolated from Alcaligenes sp (Proteobacteria: Beta subdivision). The gene product exhibits PAT activity in dependent claims.
Related Patents Granted patents in: Australia AU 613367 B2, Germany DE 3881959 C0, Spain ES 2058172 T3. Applications in: China CN 88/102798 A, Germany DE 3716309 A1, Denmark DK 2642/88 A, FInland FI 88/2227 A, Hungary HU 46943 A2, Israel IL 86378 A0, Japan JP 1005493 A2, New Zealand NZ 224602 A, South Africa ZA 88/03390 A
Commentary From the latest patent status search it appears that the assignee has dropped its patents in all major jurisdictions. It is possible that all patents and applications in this family might have been dropped. Having consolidated dominant patents in the area, economically it is no longer necessary to maintain this group of patents. The subject matter disclosed here constitutes prior art, thus making sure that nobody else can block sub-sets of possible applications of the technology.