Ceres, Inc., an agricultural biotechnology and seed company, has been awarded a U.S. patent for a genetic sequence derived from corn, covering uses of the gene in areas such as research, product development and seed production. The company believes that its gene could be useful in regulating plant development and key biosynthetic processes.
Ceres plans to offer other seed companies a commercial license to the innovation, including an opportunity for exclusivity in certain crops. "We are currently evaluating the potential market for this gene among corn seed companies and the applicability of our patented invention in the development and production of improved corn hybrids," said Richard Hamilton, President and CEO of Ceres. He noted that row crops, like corn, provide Ceres an additional outlet for traits and gene technology it has developed for its own use.
The new patent for this invention was issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as U.S. Patent No. 8,710,201 and is titled, Nucleic Acid Sequences Encoding Strictosidine Synthase Proteins. Ceres owns or maintains exclusive licensed rights to approximately 85 issued patents and approximately 110 pending patent applications in the United States and in various foreign jurisdictions. A patent is an intellectual property right granted by a government to an inventor to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention for a limited time in exchange for public disclosure of the invention when the patent is granted.
Ceres, Inc. is an agricultural biotechnology company that markets seeds for energy crops used in the production of renewable transportation fuels, electricity and bio-based products. The company combines advanced plant breeding and biotechnology to develop products that can address the limitations of first-generation bioenergy feedstocks, increase biomass productivity, reduce crop inputs and improve cultivation on marginal land. Its development activities include sweet sorghum, high-biomass sorghum, switchgrass and miscanthus. Ceres markets its products under its Blade brand. The company also licenses its technology and biotech traits to other organizations.