Luxembourg (EuroEFE) .- The European Parliament on Thursday approved a resolution calling for both animals and fruits and vegetables obtained through essentially biological methods, simple crossing and selection, can not be patented.
MEPs stressed in a resolution adopted in plenary that free access to plant biological material is "essential to boost innovation and competitiveness" of the livestock and agricultural sectors.
In particular, this access allows "developing new varieties, improving food security and addressing climate change," the EP said.
In addition, the European Chamber made it clear that access to genetic sources should not be restricted, something that it believes would lead to multinationals having a monopoly on this material "to the detriment of consumers and producers," as MEPs pointed out in the debate on last Monday.
The EP asked Brussels to do everything possible to convince the European Patent Office not to grant patents on products obtained from essentially biological processes and to immediately restore legal clarity on this issue.
Origin of the issue
The High Chamber of Resources of the European Patent Office (EPO) decided in March 2015 that in the cases of tomato (G0002 / 12) and broccoli (G0002 / 13), products obtained from essentially biological processes, such as crossing , could obtain the protection of a patent. The European Parliament responded in December 2015 with a non-binding resolution that demanded that European regulations be clarified and reiterated its May 2012 objection that products derived from conventional reproduction could be patented.
After the intervention of the European Commission in November 2016, the EPO added amendments to its policies so as not to grant patents to products obtained from essentially biological reproduction and cultivation processes. However, the EPO Technical Board of Appeal rejected this decision in December 2018, arguing that the European Patent Convention should prevail over the EPO implementation rules.
The non-legislative resolution adopted by Parliament on Thursday anticipates the deadline imposed on October 1 to submit claims to the final appeal instance of the European Patent Office (EPO) on the patentability of natural plants. The final verdict will be issued by the EPO High Chamber of Resources.
MEPs have also stressed that there are numerous patent applications for products obtained through essentially biological processes that are still waiting for an EPO decision, leaving both applicants and those affected by these possible patents in an urgent need for certainty legal