Grouping Granted U.S. Patents on Rice by Type

There are a number of different ways that nucleic acid sequences may be referenced or recited in a patent claim. Three different possibilities are Composition of Matter claims, Method claims, and Product claims. Composition of Matter claims are claims that directly claim a sequence that is highly similar to a rice sequence. Method claims are claims where a rice sequence (or a sequence highly similar to rice) is used in a method. Product claims encompass all other types of claims wherein a rice nuceotide sequence (or a sequence highly similar to rice) is incorporated into a product, such as a plant or vector, and it is the product that is claimed (as opposed to the sequence). In Method and Product claims, the sequence is not claimed directly. Below are examples of each.

  • Composition of Matter Claim: An isolated nucleic acid molecule comprising a nucleic acid sequence of  SEQ ID NO:1.
  • Method Claim: A method for obtaining a transgenic plant comprising transforming a plant with the sequence of SEQ ID NO:2.
  • Product Claim: Canola oil obtained from the seeds of a Brassica plant having the chimeric gene of SEQ ID NO:3.

Figure 1: Claim Types

Figure 1 shows the three types of claims in the 173 granted patents that we identified using MEGABLAST.

Figure 1

Figure 2: Composition of Matter Claim Types

Figure 2 shows a breakdown of the 143 patents that had composition of matter claims, and separates those that had “structural gene” sequences from those that had promoter sequences. For the purposes of this graph, we are defining “structural gene” sequences as those sequences that may be translated into a protein.

Figure 2