FIGURE 4-3 DNA patent trends, 1995-2004.

sources available to restrict the searches to human material, excluding plants, animals, microorganisms, and synthetic molecules.6

The patenting trends and published applications by year from 1995 to 2004 are shown in Figures 4-3 through 4-7, with the nine categories grouped as follows: DNA patents (including genes and gene regulation, haplotypes and SNPs, and gene expression profiling) and tools (modified animals, software, algorithms, and databases). Protein structures and protein-protein interactions are shown separately because of the vast difference in patenting activity, which is characteristic of other categories. Genes and gene regulation, gene expression profiling, and protein-protein interactions are by far the most active categories, followed by haplotypes and SNPs and databases. There are few protein structure patents and

6  

This will be apparent in Table 4-2, in which some agricultural biotechnology firms appear as leading patent holders in some categories, especially genes and gene regulatory sequences and SNPs and haplotypes.



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