Agrow Intelligence Patent Watch - Annual Review 2012
A total of 439 patent applications or granted patents concerning new agrochemicals were published in 2012 by the EU Patent Office (EPO), US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).
Some 135 patents were granted by the EU and US authorities to 19 different assignees. The field was dominated by multinational companies, with Bayer CropScience being awarded 43 patents. It was followed by Syngenta (28), BASF (12), Dow AgroSciences (11), Sumitomo Chemical (ten) and DuPont (nine). The remainder of the pack was led by Nippon Soda with five awards, then Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha and Nihon Nohyaku with three patents each. Insecticides accounted for almost half of the new patents, with 69 granted. Fungicides accounted for 36 patents and herbicides 25. Dual or triple purpose active ingredients accounted for five awards.
Patents granted to Bayer included 18 for various fungicides, ten for insecticides and ten for herbicides. It also received four grants covering dual purpose ais. Syngenta’s new patents were predominately for new insecticides (15). It was also granted eight patents for fungicides and five for herbicides. BASF’s 12 new patents were also dominated by those concerning insecticides (eight). It received two patents each for fungicides and herbicides. Dow’s awards split evenly between herbicides and insecticides (five each), plus one patent covering a fungicide. Eight of ten new patents granted to Sumitomo concerned insecticides, with a single award each for a fungicide and herbicide. DuPont maintained the insecticidal-bias, receiving six of its nine patents in that area. The remaining patents concerned fungicides.
Examination times averaged some four years and six months. The most patient awardee was Bayer, which waited more than a decade for its July 2002 application (EP 141803) covering pyrazolylcarboxanilides used as fungicides to be granted by the EPO. The company also received a patent for aminotriazines (US 8114991) after an eight-year delay, and had to wait some seven and a half years for an award covering herbicidal biphenyl-substituted pyrazolidindione derivatives (US 8119566). Elapsed time from filing of the application to award of a patent averaged some five years and ten months for the company.
The most quickly processed patent was also awarded to Bayer. It had to wait just one year to receive a patent (US 8318777) for its November 2011 filing covering fungicidal pyridinylethylcarboxamide derivatives. A similarly “instant” patent was awarded to DuPont for its June 2011 application covering insecticidal isoxazolines (US 8231888).
Dow patents had the fastest average examination times, averaging three years and two months. Next fastest was DuPont (three years six months; Sumitomo (four years one month); BASF (four years three months); and Syngenta (four years seven months).