The organisations behind No Patents On Seeds are especially concerned about increasing number of patents on plants, seeds and farm animals and their impact on farmers, breeders, innovation and biodiversity. These patents create new dependencies for farmers, breeders, food producers and consumers. These patents have to be regarded as misappropriation of basic resources in farm and food production and as general abuse of patent law. We call for an urgent re-think of European patent law in biotechnology and plant breeding and to support clear regulations that exclude from patentability processes for breeding, genetic material, plants and animals and food derived thereof.
20 February 2017
The governments of the EU Member States today decided to take action against patents on conventionally bred plants and animals. The EU governments want to prevent the European Patent Office (EPO) from granting further patents in this area. The position as adopted in the EU Competitiveness Council supports earlier statements by the European Parliament and the European Commission. In recent years, the EPO has again and again granted patents on plants and animals derived from conventional breeding, including patents on broccoli and tomatoes. Most recently the EPO granted patents on barley and beer for the companies Carlsberg and Heineken.
20 January 2017
Several civil society organisations have filed oppositions against European patents jointly owned by Carlsberg and Heineken. The patents, EP2384110 and EP2373154, were granted by the European Patent Office (EPO) in 2016. They cover barley plants derived from conventional breeding, their usage in brewing as well as the beer brewed thereof. The opponents strongly believe that these patents violate patent law, which prohibits patents on conventional breeding. Only recently, the EU Commission confirmed that conventional breeding as well as plants and animals derived thereof cannot be patented.
25 November 2016
At its next meeting in Brussels on 28 and 29 November, the EU Council for Competitiveness will discuss patents on plants and animals. The European Patent Office (EPO) is continuing to grant patents that are not based on methods of genetic engineering but on conventional breeding, such as those it granted on tomatoes and broccoli. The EPO justifies these patents by referring to an EU Directive. However, in a recent statement, the EU Commission explained that the EU does not allow patents on conventional breeding. At the Council meeting, EU Member States will be discussing further steps that can be taken to enforce this ruling. It will be incumbent on the Member States to start an initiative at the EPO to stop patents, such as those mentioned above.