Mycogen Plant Seeds, Inc., an affiliate of Dow AgroSciences LLC, has been granted U.S. patent rights to Transgenic Bt in Plants, according to an announcement issued by the U.S. Patent Office, September 13, 2005. Both Mycogen and Dow AgroSciences are wholly-owned subsidiaries of The Dow Chemical Company.
"Issuance of this important patent demonstrates that Dow was the first to invent transgenic Bt in plants," says Pete Siggelko, Dow AgroSciences vice president for Plant Genetics and Biotechnology.
Produced naturally by soil bacteria, the insecticidal protein Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) can be expressed in plants so that crops are able to protect themselves against insect pests.
The newly granted patent for Bt in plants gives Dow broad and exclusive U.S. rights to this technology. The patent for Bt in plants was originally filed in 1988, but a decision by the U.S. Patent Office was delayed by interference proceedings brought by another company. These proceedings ran from 1994 to 2003 and were ultimately resolved in Dow's favor.
Mycogen markets Bt insect-resistant corn under the tradename Herculex. Dow AgroSciences markets Bt insect-resistant cotton under the tradename WideStrike.
Dow's patent on transgenic Bt in plants (United States Patent Number 6,943,282) will be in effect until 2021.