The European Patent Office makes amendments to its rules

As of 1 July 2017, the European Patent Office (EPO) no longer issues patents for plants and animals obtained by the essentially biological breeding process.

The discussion about this legislative amendment started several years ago, and initially, the amendment was to only include the method and not the final product. The European Commission Directive of 2016 did not exclude products obtained by the biological breeding process. Later, however, this provision was added to the directive on the grounds that it was intended to be provided for from the very beginning. A later directive was adopted in a small circle, and in June 2017, the EPO approved the amendment.

However, the amendment to the law raises issues of compatibility with European Union law.  European Union law (in this case, Directive 98/44/EC) does not exclude patenting of plants and animals obtained by essentially biological methods. The European Commission document, issued and drawn up by the EPO, became the basis for the Council decision. At this point, it should be noted that the European Commission is not the legislative body of the European Union, which sets the newly-approved amendment to a strong suspicion.



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