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.
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.
17 November 2016
In 2016, the European Patent Office (EPO) granted three patents to the Danish brewery, Carlsberg. The patents cover barley plants derived from conventional breeding, their usage in brewing as well as the beer brewed thereof. In a joint letter, several civil society organisations are now calling on Carlsberg to drop these patents. They consider the patents to be an abuse of patent law and in conflict with the interests of consumers.
3 November 2016 / In a long awaited explanatory statement, the EU Commission takes the view that plants and animals that are obtained by means of “essentially biological” breeding are non-patentable. This statement is in strong contradiction to the current practice of the European Patent Office (EPO), which has already granted more than 100 patents on conventional breeding, e.g. on tomatoes and broccoli.