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Patent Landscape Report on Animal Genetic Resources

Publication year: 2014

DOI: English

This report represents the first large-scale quantitative analysis related to patenting activity involving livestock animals. It includes biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, immunology and gene therapy, stem cells and transgenic animals and as such, its main focus is on addressing the challenges involved in identifying patent activity for animal genetic resources in general and activity relating to animal genetic resources for food and agriculture in particular. Additionally, the report explores the use of traditional knowledge (TK) and the mention of the source of origin of genetic resources in patent documents.

  • Topic: Food & agriculture
  • Cooperation partners: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)


What was involved?

  • Search on patenting activity in relation to 17 animal species and subspecies of global importance to food and agriculture, as identified by FAO. The research covered cattle, buffalo, pigs, sheep, goats, horses, donkeys, bactrian and dromedary camels, llama and alpaca species along with chickens, ducks and turkeys. The research did not include fish. These species, and the diverse breeds associated with them, are central to global agriculture and food security.
  • Text mining of over 14 million patent documents.
  • A patent search methodology including Latin and common names of animals, patent classification searches and sequence searches.
  • Mapping technology clusters involving animals.
  • Identifying patent documents involving animal genetic resources of relevance to food and agriculture.
  • Reviewing patent documents for references to breed names and traditional knowledge.

Outcomes of the research

  • Animals are important experimental models, sources of material for medical products and bioreactors for recombinant proteins.
  • A quantitative indicator of trends in patent activity for animal genetic resources that can be updated and refined over time to respond to policy needs.
  • Analysis of the key features and trends of the patent landscape for animal genetic resources of relevance to food and agriculture which were identified and grouped in six broad categories of technology, namely Artificial Insemination, Sex Selection and Control of Estrus, Marker Assisted Breeding, Transgenic Animals, Animal Cloning, Xenotransplantation and Animal Models.
  • A detailed set of examples of important patent documents involving animal genetic resources to provide evidence to inform policy debates.


Download data

  • Annex 1 – Patent classification code co-occurrence analysis for animal genetic resources Patent Landscape Report on Animal Genetic Resources, (pdf)
  • Annex 2 – Search terms Patent Landscape Report on Animal Genetic Resources, (xlsx)
  • Annex 3 – Patent classification review Patent Landscape Report on Animal Genetic Resources, (xlsx)
  • Annex 4 – Breeds review Patent Landscape Report on Animal Genetic Resources, (xlsx)
  • Annex 5 – Database of patent families Patent Landscape Report on Animal Genetic Resources, (xlsx)
  • Infographic Patent Landscape Report on Animal Genetic Resources, (pdf)