Patents and plant breeders’ rights

The European Parliament (EP) has expressed its concern that recent decisions involving tomatoes and broccoli could lead to more patents being granted in respect of natural traits introduced into new varieties of plants by means of essentially biological processes such as crossing and selection and calls on the European Commission, among other things, to:

  • ensure legal clarity regarding the prohibition of the patentability of products obtained from essentially biological processes and clarify that breeding with biological material falling under the scope of a patent is permitted;
  • ensure that the EU will safeguard guaranteed access to, and use of, material obtained from essentially biological processes for plant breeding, in order, where applicable, not to interfere with practices guaranteeing breeders’ exemption; and
  • pursue the exclusion from patentability of essentially biological processes.

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