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No Patents On Seeds

Stop patents on plants and animals!

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.

Opposition to Monsanto bio-piracy patent on soybeans rejected

11 October 2017

The European Patent Office (EPO) has today rejected the opposition filed by ‘No Patents on Seeds!’ against the Monsanto patent EP 2134870. The patent held by Monsanto covers the use of hundreds of gene sequences that occur in natural soybean varieties and other similar species; they are to be used in conventional breeding. ‘No Patents on Seeds!’ will now file an appeal as, according to European patent laws, patents on conventional breeding cannot be granted.

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Hearing on Monsanto soybean bio-piracy

10 October 2017

A hearing will take place tomorrow at the EPO in The Hague on an opposition filed by the coalition “No Patents on Seeds!” against a patent held by the US company Monsanto. The patent EP 2134870 was granted by the European Patent Office in February 2014. It covers the selection of plants that have adapted to various climate zones. According to the wording of the patent, the genomes of more than 250 “exotic” plants were examined in regard to their adaptation to various climate conditions and their time for harvest. These plants represent around 20 wild and cultivated species related to soybeans found in Asia and Australia. The Monsanto patent covers the use of hundreds of gene sequences that reflect the natural genetic diversity of the plants that were examined and that are needed for the selection of plants for future breeding.

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Still no solution regarding patents on plants and animals

29 June 2017 / The 38 Contracting States of the European Patent Office (EPO) at their meeting in The Hague decided to strengthen prohibitions in European patent law in regard to the breeding of plants and animals. However, at the same time, new loopholes have been created that will allow the relevant prohibitions to be eroded. As a result, the EPO will shortly resume granting patents on conventionally bred plants and animals. Already in May 2017, companies were informed that several patents on plants derived from random mutations are ready to be granted. The legal and political controversy will continue.

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