MAC-Team

No patent on seeds !?

copyright-seed-390Patent Cases
The European Patent Office (EPO) has already granted many hundreds of patents on genetically engineered plants and animals (see statistics) and has even started to grant patents on normal, non modified plants .

However, legally speaking, there is still uncertainty on where patentability ends. Both the EPC and the EU directive 98/44/EC set limits to patentability of living organisms. Nevertheless, the EPO has repeatedly granted patents which clearly go behond these limits. Some of them have been revoked following an opposition procedure. In other cases the EPO has interpreted the laws in such a way as to undermine the limits of patentability.

Here we present the most important patents which have been disputed and which are important for the development of case law in the area of plants and animals.

  • Patent on Brocoli – Plant Bioscience Ltd
    One of the precedent cases at the European Patent Office (G2/07)
  • Patent on Wrinkled Tomato – State of Israel - Ministry of Agriculture
    One of the precedent cases at the European Patent Office (G1/08)
  • Patent on Pigs – Newsham Choice Genetics
    This patent was revoked after oppositions and public protests.
  • Patent on Cows
    The opposition against this patent is still under negotiation at the EPO (T1589/10)
  • Patent on Sunflowers – Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas
    Opposition was rejected, only claims for process of breeding were revoked (T1854/07).
  • Patent on Melons – Monsanto
  • Patent for breeding plants with a higher stress tolerance – Bayer BioScience
    The comprehensive patent will give Bayer monopoly control over important food crops.
  • Insect Resistant Plant – Syngenta
    A patent on pepper plants, such as chili, derived from conventional breeding. The patent covers the plants, fruits and seeds and even claims the growing and harvesting of the plants as an invention.
  • Patent on Severed Broccoli – Seminis
    The plants, which are supposed to make harvesting easier, are derived from conventional cross-breeding and selection. The patent covers the plants, the seeds and the "severed broccoli head".
  • Patent granted on biodiversity
    The plants supposedly have higher yields in different environmental conditions. The soybeans concerned are wild and cultivated species from Asia and Australia. Monsanto has claimed hundreds of DNA sequences representing natural genetic variations for future use in the conventional breeding of soybeans. The patent also applies to other regions such as the US, Canada, China and South Africa, although the EPO seems to have been the first to grant this scandalous patent.

Source: No-Patent-on-Seeds

More patents can be found here by No-Patent-on-Seeds