06 July 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

EPO resumes plant grants

The European Patent Office (EPO) has resumed animal and plant patentability proceedings.

Proceedings were stayed by EPO president Benoît Battistelli in November last year, while the office decided how to deal with an intervention from the European Commission, which said that plant and animal varieties obtained by ‘essentially biological’ processes are not patentable in the EU.

The EPO’s administrative council amended Rules 27 and 28 of the European Patent Convention to stay in line with the European Commission’s recommendations.

The amended rules apply to European patent applications filed on or after 1 July, as well as European patent applications and European patents pending at that time.

In 2015, the EPO upheld the validity of patents for breeding tomatoes and selectively increasing anti-carcinogenic glucosinolates in broccoli.

The EPO said that plant products such as fruits and seeds are patentable if they are obtained through “essentially biological” breeding methods.

In its intervention, the European Commission said that its original intention with Article 4(3) of the Directive on the Legal Protection of Biotechnological Inventions, which governs the patentability of animals and plants, was intended to rule out patents protecting essentially biological processes.

More news
The latest news from IPPro Patents
Join Our Newsletter

Sign up today and never
miss the latest news or an issue again

Subscribe now
Baker Botts promotes three in IP
21 November 2017 | Texas | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Baker Botts has promoted three intellectual property attorneys to partner, as part of a round of 11 partner promotions
Alibaba in ITC spotlight
20 November 2017 | Washington DC | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Alibaba will be investigated by the US International Trade Commission over the importation and sale of insulated beverage containers, their labels, and packaging materials
MediaTek partners with Anaqua
20 November 2017 | Boston | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Taiwanese semiconductor company MediaTek has selected Anaqua to manage its intellectual property activities, including its inventions and patents
Brazil and China sign PPH agreement
17 November 2017 | Beijing | Reporter: Barney Dixon
The State Intellectual Property Office of China has signed a patent prosecution highway agreement with the Brazilian National Institution of Intellectual Property
Cozen O’Connor hires ex-DLA Piper litigator
17 November 2017 | Washington DC | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Cozen O’Connor has hired ex-DLA Piper litigator Hugh Marbury as member in its intellectual property department
Mewburn Ellis opens Munich office
16 November 2017 | Munich | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Intellectual property boutique Mewburn Ellis has opened a new office in Munich, its first expansion outside of the UK
EPO faces backlash over scrapping of permanent employment contracts
15 November 2017 | Munich | Reporter: Barney Dixon
In an internal memo, the Staff Union of the European Patent Office described the move as “Kafkaesque”