Agro-based biotechnological company Ceres Inc. has been granted an Australian patent for a trait that enables the growers to produce a larger yield without using greater amount of fertilizers or other growth enhancing products.
The patent extends the intellectual property protection to the Australian market of the key gene that Ceres has licensed to a California-based multinational crop developer, Thousands Oaks.
The patent covers uses of the gene in crops such as corn, soybean, sorghum, sugarcane, sugarbeet and wheat. Ceres plans to offer seed companies a license to the technology in crops not already licensed. The genetic sequences of the trait were derived from a plant and optimized by Ceres. Experimental results have demonstrated significant yield increases in several plant species. Increases in productivity per acre can have a significant impact on farm income as well as reduce the overall footprint of agricultural production.
Ceres President and CEO Richard Hamilton said, “We believe that our next-generation traits can provide multiple opportunities for producers to increase productivity, reduce inputs and make greater use of marginal cropland.”
The new patent (No. AU 2010276372B2) was issued by IP Australia, the Australian Government agency that administers intellectual property (IP) rights and legislation relating to patents, trademarks, designs and plant breeder's rights. Ceres has exclusive rights to this patent until it expires on 2030.
Apart from this, Ceres has exclusive licensed patent rights to other 95 issued or pending patent applications in United States as well as in other countries. Their motto states, “We are an agricultural biotechnology company addressing the needs of a more prosperous, sustainable planet.”