Plant science is quickly becoming a niche area of biotechnology with its own particular genetic, biochemical and molecular aspects requiring specialist knowledge outside the domain of mammalian or prokaryotic research. Despite this, plant science has become a leading focus for some of the biggest multinational companies in the world. With an emphasis on agrochemicals and crop genetics, the patent landscape is largely dominated by the inherent need to sustain current food supplies and create new ones. The fundamental nature of plants to our fragile ecology means that patents in this area create some of the biggest controversies in the biotechnology sphere.
Appleyard Lees has particular specialism in the plant science field, with attorneys with a background in the field. We understand the need to tailor advice and patent applications to products and methods relating specifically to plants. We have experience in haploid and embryogenic technologies for breeding rare plants, hormones for controlled crop development, bespoke pesticides/insecticides, and high value nutraceuticals/antibiotics derived from plant or fungal sources.
The controversial elements of plant sciences provide an ever changing body of case law developing at a fast pace. Recent cases include those relating to the moral implications of how far patent rights should extend in relation to modified seeds, and the ethical considerations of modifying plants such as tobacco for the cigarette industry. We can keep your patents up to date with the latest legal practices and ensure suitable fall-back positions are included to help avoid the pitfalls of ever shifting patent laws.