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New EPO Ruling On Conventional Plants Creates Controversy

New EPO Ruling On Conventional Plants Creates Controversy

April 7, 2015

At the end of March the EPO issued two decisions in the highly publicised Tomato II and Broccoli II cases. Both of these cases involved seeds for plants that were grown conventionally or through “biological breeding methods involving cross and selection.” The EPO’s highest court stated that such seeds were patentable.

Following the March decision in both cases, “civil society reacted quickly to say that the EPO is favouring giant argochemicial companies… to the detriment of small breeders and consumers”. The concern of such groups is that there will be little incentive for innovation and that the decision, which cannot be challenged, as it was made by the highest court, “will be used to bypass the current legislation in Europe, according to which conventional selection processes on plant and animals cannot be patented…”.

To learn more about these decisions, the significance of these cases and the reactions to the decisions, please see: