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Keep Your Eyes on Algae

Algae has made a splash in the U.S. Patent Office, according to Minneapolis-based law firm Fredrikson & Byron, P.A. The firm’s attorneys Todd Taylor and Philip Goldman report that growth in algae has been spurred by the potential for algae to provide an “abundant and sustainable feedstock for fuels, biomaterials, feed, and other products.”

Ten years ago, there were 22 U.S. patents issued containing the words “algae” and “bioreactor” somewhere in their text. Last year, there were 51. But, get this--there were also 208 applications published in the United States in 2008.

People are seeking patents for bioreactors, algae strains, open pond designs, harvesting, and separation and processing equipment.

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