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Patent to Bayer in conflict with the law

by Redaktion (comments: 0)

The European Patent Office in Munich has recently granted a patent for the German company Bayer for breeding plants with a higher stress tolerance (EP1616013), No Patents on Seeds reports. The comprehensive patent will give Bayer monopoly control over important food crops including both genetic engineering in plants and the process for conventional breeding and plants derived thereof.

Patents on processes for conventional breeding, based on crossing and selection, are in conflict with Article 53b of the European Patent Convention. This was confirmed by the EPO in a precedent decision at the end of 2010. However, in claim 14 of the Bayer patent nothing else is patented than conventional plant breeding based on natural genetic conditions.

“This new patent for Bayer breaks the law. It conflicts in particular with the prohibition of patents on essentially biological processes for breeding. This case shows once more that European Patent Law needs to be revised in order to effectively prohibit patents on the breeding of plants and animals. Further, the EPO must be subjected to independent control. If these kind of patents are not stopped, resources for daily living will be sold out to companies such as Bayer and Monsanto", warns Christoph Then, a representative of the international coalition “No Patents on Seeds”.

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