According to The Patent Board’s Food, Beverage and Tobacco Patent Scorecard™ published
in The Wall Street Journal, Danisco shows a close relationship to core science.
The Food, Beverage and Tobacco (FBT) industry is the smallest tracked by The Patent Board, with an average of just 17.7 utility
patents granted per company in the past year. The industry is growing, however, as there are almost two more patents granted
per company in the past year than in the previous year. In fact, only four out of the 31 companies tracked in the FBT industry
saw a decrease in the number of patents granted this year. However, this only takes into account utility inventions. While
utility patents account for approximately 90% of all issued patents at the USPTO, design patents account for just 9.5% of USPTO
patent issuances. Design patents involve the ornamental aspects of an invention, such as the shape of a Coca-Cola bottle.
Companies in the FBT industry rely on design patents much more heavily than the average company patenting at the USPTO. In
fact, FBT companies hold one third of their issued patents as design patents, compared to 9.5% for the USPTO as a whole. FBT
companies with the highest proportion of design patents include Unilever, Sara Lee, PepsiCo and Mars, all of whom hold more
than 60% of their portfolios in design patents. Although design patents are not included in the Food, Beverage and Tobacco
Patent Scorecard™, patent metrics that analyze design patents can be scrutinized on a case-by-case basis.