Agribusiness and Agrochemicals Patents

Australia and New Zealand are renowned globally for their agricultural industries and this is why these countries remain of interest to multi-national agribusiness and agrochemical companies. This is also why these countries will continue to invest in innovation that will maintain their global presence.

Sustainable production remains a key research theme, often involving the improvement of naturally occurring product, for example by genetic modification and/or selection, or the improved production of naturally occurring product, for example with selective herbicides, fertilizers and feed.

In many instances, the commercialised technology arises from a convergence of biotechnology and chemical sciences. Further, some products and services are often commercialised so as to facilitate the sale of other products or services into the market, a case in point being the commercialisation of new plants or animals having agrochemical resistance to facilitate the sale of the agrochemical itself.

Unlike some jurisdictions, in both Australia and New Zealand, plants and animals can generally be protected per se, as can various uses of them and methods of treating them, and apart from the prior art issues that apply in most countries, there is no difficulty in protecting agrochemicals. This means that multi-national companies develop extensive patent portfolios in Australia and New Zealand. On the other hand, freedom to operate issues remain of particular interest to Australian and New Zealand research firms.

Our focus is on providing a team based approach to the solution of our agricultural client’s problems. This is particularly valuable where the relevant commercialisation arises from a convergence of biotechnology and chemical sciences, and in these circumstances we tailor our client solution by hand picking attorneys for a given matter who have the relevant technical expertise.

We also focus on developing specialisation for various patent attorney tasks within our agriculture client teams so that as required we are able to provide individuals who have particular strengths in patent drafting, complex prosecution or freedom to operate searching.

Our clients include a leading multi-national agricultural company and number of Australian agricultural R&D corporations and universities.

Freehills Patent Attorneys technical range of expertise includes

  • Herbicides
  • Fertilizers
  • Resistance genes
  • Breeding values
  • Genotyping
  • Plant and animal varieties
  • Farming practices
  • Land management
  • Carbon and nitrogen fixation

Freehills Patent Attorneys expertise in action

We represent a multi national agricultural client before the Australian and New Zealand patent offices and we also manage the portfolio in Singapore, and ostensibly provide a portal to patent prosecution throughout South East Asia. We represent our client in Australian and New Zealand opposition proceedings and provide validity and infringement assessments in these jurisdictions. We provide a team based approach drawing on chemical and genetic expertise and we take a holistic perspective on product protection, taking account of all relevant patents and patent applications of the client.

We also act for an Australian research corporation where we undertake regular freedom to operate assessment and monitor, advise on, and manage patent infringement risk. Our work is critical to Australia’s largest National breeding program and we are the only Australian firm handling an infringement matter of this size and complexity in the relevant field. A feature of our work has been our innovative approach to building a database that defines the relevant patent landscape.

Meet our Agribusiness and Agrochemical experts