Dissolving Intellectual Property Barriers: Why Kuraray and Kaneka May Enter Into a License Agreement

Two powerhouse chemical manufacturing companies may be set for a license agreement. Kuraray has a strong presence in the biodegradable Structures category, but is lacking in patent protection in the Process category to mass produce their technology. In the last 10 years, Kuraray has 91 patent assets in biodegradable packaging. The Structures category makes up 85 of the 91 patent assets, and only 1 patent asset is in the Process category. But Kaneka has 22 patent assets in the Process category. Kuraray may seek a license agreement with Kaneka for their Process technology. But is a license agreement for biodegradable packaging a big deal? With over 500 million pounds of plastic in the ocean, the answer is yes.

Both companies are amongst the global leaders in biodegradable packaging and both are among the top 10 patent asset holders in the United States over the last decade. Kuraray currently employs over 11,000 people across the planet and had annual revenue of $5.278 billion USD in 2021. Kaneka employs over 8,000 people worldwide and had annual revenue of $5.03 billion USD in 2021. Companies of these sizes entering into a licensing agreement would allow new biodegradable structures to hit the market that would decrease the amount of plastic entering the ocean.

Since almost all of Kuraray’s patent assets are in the Structures category, it may be difficult for them to scale up their current technology without help. Kaneka’s 22 patent assets in the Process category of biodegradable packaging means they might hold the key to getting Kuraray’s innovative biodegradable structures to market. Look for Kuraray and Kaneka to enter into an agreement soon for Kuraray to maximize their market potential for their new Structure technology in biodegradable packaging.

For more updates, check the Biodegradable Packaging Patent Forecast®!