Patents are a functional information tool in the study of agbiotech investments in research. The analysis aims to improve the knowledge of the international patent system, through the definition of an updated picture of agbiotech patent filed in EU and US, the two most significant innovation area worldwide, though presenting huge differences in managing IP rights. The paper provide a complex analysis of biotech patents patterns starting from a comprehensive data set including more than 7000 patents filed in the period 2002-2009. The main findings show that the private sector is still dominant and market oriented, but reveals a partial shift from the first wave of innovations to a new one characterized by nutritional components. The role of public sector in basic research is also confirmed, both in Europe and in US, and represents also a source of IP for innovative products. Public research is focused on plant developmental processes (i.e. abiotic resistance) useful in specific agricultural landscapes.