Europe: Bionext fights against Syngenta's patent on classic red pepper

Bionext is starting a formal objection procedure before the European Patent Office (EPO) against a patent recently granted on the red pepper. "It's expensive, but it must be done", the Bionext website declares.

The EPO has granted the company Syngenta patent on classic red pepper plants with insect resistance. This gives Syngenta the exclusive rights on all fruits, seeds and plants of pepper and pepper plants with this property.

Syngenta has developed the plant through normal, conventional breeding. The insect resistance is derived from the starting material in the gene bank. Yet now Syngenta claims the growing and harvesting of the plants as an invention. "An appeal is the only way to get this patent off the table. The central idea behind the procedure is the view that properties derived through classically bred plants are not patentable.” Bionext defends that principle along with several other partners of the ‘No Patents on Seeds’ coalition. 

For more information about Bionext and patents visit

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