Science in Water B.V. has now also acquired the patent in the U.S.A. on a method to combat bee mortality. The patent had been previously grantedin the Netherlands. To be granted a patent, three requirements must be met: it has to be new, non-obvious, and useful.
The patent consists of two parts: 1. composition, 2. method. These are also expressed in the title of the patent “Composition and method for improving survival of bee colonies”. The patent is about administering ferrous compounds to bee colonies through nutrition.
The requirements for obtaining a patent from the American Patent and Trademark Office are more stringent than the equivalent body in the Netherlands. In particular there was a real battle over the issue as to whether the invention really is non-obvious, in other words whether “a person skilled in the art” (= a beekeeper) could have thought of this. The invention arose from the understanding that in the first place bee mortality is a microbiological problem and not a varroa mite problem. Since people in the apiary industry – represented in this matter by the scientific institutions – still believe that varroa is the cause of bee mortality, granting the patent can be fully justified.
You can read the patent description here.