November 21, 2017

The European Patent Office clarifies practice in the area of plant and animal patents

The Administrative Council of the European Patent Office (EPO) has finally decided to exclude from patentability plants and animals exclusively obtained by an essentially biological breeding process.

This decision was taken after an internal discussion within the European Commission following the decision of the High Chamber of Appeals of the EPO regarding the famous cases of Broccoli (G2/13) and Tomatoes (G2/12), in which it was concluded that the prohibition of patentability of essentially biological procedures did not extend to plants or parts of plants per se, even when these were obtained by such procedures. Therefore, as of July 1, 2017, Rules 27 and 28 of the CPE were modified to reflect this new legal framework.