European Patent Office at Crossroads

Patents on Plants and Animals Granted in 2011

Industry and examiners at the European Patent Office (EPO) are systematically using legal loopholes to grant patents on seeds, plants and even harvest and food products derived thereof. This is shown by the new report published by the international coalition of "No Patents on Seeds". The report gives examples of patents on sunflowers, melons, cucumbers, rice and wheat. Patents were granted despite a decision of the highest court of the EPO (Enlarged Board of Appeal) in 2010, reaffirming the prohibition of patents on conventional breeding as written in European patent laws.