How I got Pheronym's first patent and the trademark

Dr. Fatma Kaplan
6 min readMar 1, 2023

Securing intellectual property is among the many challenges women innovators face in agricultural innovation. To learn how these amazing women entrepreneurs tackle and overcome the challenges, listen to the “Together in Innovation: Agricultural Advances Webinar” by USPTO or read below for some highlights.

Panelists and link to the webinar:

Briefly, tell us a bit more about yourself and your company. (Include #Domestic patents, trademarks, etc..)

I am Fatma Kaplan, CEO and Founder of Pheronym. We use a new kind of pheromone from microscopic roundworms called nematodes to control agricultural pests in the soil.

I come from a farming family and have an undergraduate degree in agriculture engineering, a Master's in Horticultural Sciences, and a Ph.D. in plant molecular and cellular biology. After I received my Ph.D., I accepted a postdoc in analytical Chemistry where I purified and identified the first sex pheromone of a model nematode, C. elegans.

After identifying the C. elegans sex pheromone, the USDA recruited me to apply this knowledge to agriculturally important nematode pests. Plant parasitic nematodes!

These are the bad guys that attack the plant roots.

At the USDA, I quickly learned that adapting new knowledge from a model system to agricultural pests was not…