Chapter 8: Rice Genome Patents in Non-U.S. Jurisdictions

In our analysis, we have chosen to primarily focus on the U.S. patent patents and applications. We recognize that a complete picture of rice genome patenting will require analysis of the patents in key rice-growing jurisdictions outside of the U.S., however, access to patent data in many countries is difficult to obtain. In fact, most patent jurisdictions in developing countries, even those with very substantial innovation and commercialization capability, do not have readily searchable patents, not to mention sequences claimed in patents. For example, the full text of Indian patents cannot be searched either domestically or internationally.

It is one of CAMBIA’s long term goals to provide access to patent data from some of the key jurisdictions, and our patent landscapes will continue to evolve as new information becomes available.

In this chapter, we provide information about the availability of patent data in key rice-growing jurisdictions, as well as a table containing all of the U.S. rice patents and patent applications that have counterparts in China.

Status of Patent Searching in the Top Ten Rice-Growing Jurisdictions

Jurisdictional issues play a huge role in determining the freedom to operate in rice innovation. However, the rules regarding gene patenting and the availability of patent data in key rice-growing countries is variable.

China

The front page information (title, inventors, applicants, abstract, priority documents, etc) of Chinese patent documents is searchable in both Chinese and English. Full-text searching of entire patent documents is not currently available, however it is possible to download a copy of the full Chinese patent documents in PDF. China allows patenting of nucleotide and amino acid sequences, but effectively limits bulk sequence applications by limiting each application to one “function”. Also, China does not allow patenting of transgenic plants or animals.

India

India allows patenting of nucleotide and amino acid sequences, but does not allow patenting of transgenic plants or animals. It is not possible at this time to search the full text of Indian patent applications, front page information is available from several sources.

Indonesia

Indonesian patent document front page information is full-text searchable, in Indonesian. While it is not possible to conduct a full-text search of entire Indonesian patent documents, it is possible to download a PDF of the documents from the Indonesian IP office website.

Vietnam

It is possible to search the front page information of Vietnamese patent documents, in Vietnamese. English titles of a small subset of Vietnamese patent documents are also searchable. It is not currently possible to obtain full Vietnamese patent documents online.

Thailand

Thai patent document front page information is searchable. It is not currently possible to conduct a full-text search on the full patent documents.

Brazil

Front page information of Brazilian patent documents is searchable in Portuguese. While it is not currently possible to search the full-text of Brazilian patent documents, it is possible to obtain PDF copies from the EPO.

Japan

It is possible to search Japan patent document front page information, in English. The EPO provides PDF copies of the patent documents. NEF-NET (Japan Invention Information Corp.) is a fee-based online Japanese search engine that provides full-text search options for published patent and utility model documents (applications from 1993, registered patents and utility models from 1994). Searches are in Japanese only.