Announcements

Job offersmore »



Tweeting Growers

Top 5 - yesterday

  • No news has been published yesterday.

Top 5 - last week

Top 5 - last month

Exchange ratesmore »




European Seed Association welcomes restriction of plant patents

In November 2016, the European Commission officially clarified that the intention of the EU’s Directive on biotech patents of 1998 had actually always been not to allow patents on products obtained by essentially biological processes such as crossing and selection. Now, the European Patent Office (EPO) followed the EU’s approach and adopted a new rule that formally excludes plants obtained by such processes from patentability under the European Patent Convention.

ESA European Seed Association, the representative organisation of the European plant breeding and seed sector, welcomes and very much appreciates this decision. Patent protection should now only be granted for processes that are not essentially biological and for plant products that are obtained by such processes.

"This is a huge success for the European seed sector. Since 2007, ESA has continuously advocated the need for such a clarification to re-establish the balance between the two IP systems that are available for breeders to protect their inventions, plant breeder’s rights on the one hand, and patents on the other. After years of discussion, we now obtained this important decision, which increases the legal certainty that is crucial for Europe’s plant breeders,’’ says Garlich von Essen, ESA’s Secretary General.

For the member countries of the European Patent Convention (EPC) which are also EU Members States, there is now an obligation to implement both the EPC and the EU Directive 98/44 observing the new rule and the clarification of the Commission. This will assure a fully coherent approach in national patent laws in the field of plant-related inventions, since the EPC and the EU Directive are now aligned.

After the Commission’s clarifying notice last November, the EPO suspended all the proceedings related to patent applications on plants, and will now process them in the light of the new decision.

"The application of the new rule in practice might show that there are still some grey areas. Products of non-essentially biological processes of course remain patentable. For breeders, the important practical question will be whether their new varieties are free from existing patent claims if they arrive at products with similar traits, but do so in an independent manner and based on essentially biological breeding processes. This is a matter that we hope to clarify in constructive discussions with the EPO," concludes Garlich von Essen.

Source: European Seed Association

Publication date: 7/13/2017

 


 

Other news in this sector:

11/17/2017 Europe and China sign cooperation agreement on plant variety rights
11/16/2017 “With Caribbean, we want to offer retailers the same quality and flavour year round”
11/16/2017 US: ASTA calls for clarity on plant breeding innovation policy
11/15/2017 Seed sector renews commitment to genetic resources
11/15/2017 Global Plant Genetics introduces new berries at ExpoSE
11/15/2017 Controversy sparked in Armenia after US embassy promotes GMOs
11/14/2017 Hybrid purity testing of Brassica rapa using SSR marker technology
11/13/2017 Hong Kong: Tomatoes developed with enhanced antioxidant properties
11/13/2017 Abundant Produce launches skincare brand
11/9/2017 Frankenfood or the future of agriculture?
11/9/2017 Spain: Promotion of strategy for genetic improvement of horticultural varieties
11/9/2017 Video: Ed Currie breeds the hottest peppers in the world
11/9/2017 Bangladesh: Summer King tomato farming gets popular
11/8/2017 Artificial seeds: Even better than the real thing?
11/8/2017 Passing of "GMO Bill" sparks controversy in Uganda
11/8/2017 "We tune the breeding programmes to the entire chain"
11/6/2017 Syngenta obtains non-exclusive IP license for CRISPR-Cas9
11/1/2017 US (NC): NCBiotech Forum probes gene editing opportunities, challenges
10/30/2017 GSPP certification for Takii Europe
10/30/2017 NatureFresh and Eminent Seeds launch "world's smallest tomato"