The indiscriminate use of synthetic pesticides has brought undesired problems to human health, agriculture, and the environment. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Biological Control (BC) programs, which are based on minimum use of pesticides, are seen as alternative, more ecological solutions to the unintended problems associated with pesticide use. These programs combine the introduction, augmentation, and/or conservation of pest natural enemies, with other protection tools. Although patents and the process of commercialization of microorganisms has been the subject of various reviews, macroorganisms used for pest and disease control have stimulated less comprehensive analyses. From our review of patents, there has been an enormous increase in the number of macroorganism-related patents registered in the last two decades. Private companies own 65% of all these patents. Rearing methods and crop protection strategies are the main intellectual property patented, with parasitoid wasps and predatory mites being the primary Biological Control Agent (BCA) focus of patents. Among countries, Japan was the first country with these types of patents, followed by the United States, Canada and China. Increasing concern for pesticide risks by governments and the public is seen as the main impetus for change in “traditional” crop protection practices and for investment in other more ecological products like BCAs.
Integrated pest management IPM, biological control, biological control agents, crop pest, biopesticide, macroorganism, natural enemy, patent analysis
Unidad de Proteccion de Cultivos, Departamento de Agricultura y Alimentacion. Universidad de La Rioja. C/ Madre de Dios,9 51. 26006-Logrono, Spain.