Researchers at a century-old horticultural company developed marigolds with uncharacteristic properties. They found a way to change the ratios of lutein and zeaxanthin in the plant, making these carotenoids more useful as coloring agents in food products and as crucial components of dietary supplements. Both of these carotenoids, for instance, are important for the health of the human eyes.
We prepared and obtained utility patents for the leaves, petals and other parts of the mutant marigold that displayed these unnatural ratios of carotenoids. Thus, this Midwest-based company was able to protect and market its special marigolds.