Sakata Seed Corporation will join the Vegetable International Licensing Platform, commonly referred to as ‘ILP Vegetable’ a private association with its office in the Netherlands. ILP Vegetable members make all of their patents related to vegetable breeding traits accessible to their fellow members under the conditions of the ILP Vegetable. Easier access to patents for the development of varieties will enhance our research activities.

The ILP Vegetable is one of the largest global patent pools that deals with patents, covering biological material, important for the breeding of vegetables*2. Many large, small and medium-sized companies dealing with vegetable seeds and seedlings are members of this organization. The ILP Vegetable pools and manages a large number of patents on normal traits, developed by participant companies. Commercial variety patents*3 are also covered by the ILP Vegetable system. By lowering the barrier to entry to the utilization of patents, the organization aims at promoting the mutual use of patents by fellow members to enhance the development of varieties.

Joining the ILP Vegetable enables access to a large number of patents related to the development of varieties owned by member companies. We will be able to use, in particular, commercial variety patents, freely for the breeding of new varieties. Other patents related to the traits of varieties (trait patents*4) will be made accessible to us at reasonable license fees through negotiation between members.

Participation in the ILP Vegetable provides us access to new genetic resources. The Sakata Seed Group will actively use the ILP Vegetable to enhance our research activities and accelerate the development of useful varieties. Sakata will be officially admitted to the ILP Vegetable at their General Meeting on November 14, 2016.

To learn more about the ILP, visit

*1 Patent Pool:
A type of consortium formed by vegetable breeding companies (with or without owning patents) who pool their patents together. The members of the group mutually license the patents pooled in the organization to each other, under pre-determined conditions.

*2 Twelve companies, including Bayer, Enza Zaden, Vilmorin, Rijk Zwaan, Syngenta, and so on, participate in the organization (incorporated 13 November 2014).

*3 Variety patent:
One of the terms defined by the ILP, which refers to a patent that protects the varieties themselves. They are registered with their variety name or number.

*4 Trait patent:
One of the terms defined by the ILP, which refers to a patent that protects the biological traits (characteristics) of plants. For example, the patent "Cytoplasmic Hybrid Plant Belonging to the Genus Lactuca and Method for Production Thereof" (Japanese Patent No. 4139429) filed by our company.