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Plants Produced by Biological Processes Not Patentable

#epo #patents


The Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA) of the European Patent Office has issued an opinion on the matter G3/19 ("Pepper") considering the patentability of plant an animal products produced by essentially biological processes. Contrary to its previous view on the matter, the time the EBA has found the answer to this question to be a resounding "no".


This comes as a surprise as the EBA had previously declared void the Rule 28.2 of the European Patent Convention that states "European patents shall not be granted in respect of plants or animals exclusively obtained by means of an essentially biological process". The EBA has acknowledged their change of heart claiming that interpretation of the law is not carved in stone and may change with the times.


While this decision will not be applied retroactively to patents already granted, it will indeed affect many European Agricultural Technology companies that were hoping to patent many of their findings.


You may read the EPO press release and full decision, here.


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