Patent on animal breeding revoked03 May 2012
by No Patents on Seeds -- last modified 03 May 2012
European Parliament members launch initiative against patents on plants and animals
Today, the European Patent Office (EPO) in Munich revoked a patent on animal breeding (EP 1257168) for US company Inguran and its affiliate XY LLC. The patent covered a process in animal breeding, which enables the selection of the sex of offspring, as well as sperm cells.
The patent had been opposed by Greenpeace and the Green Party in European Parliament and was only revoked for technical reasons. Yet, the opposing parties are convinced that this patent should have never been granted from the outset as European patent legislation does not allow patents to be granted on plant or animal breeding .
Representing a broad range of civil society organisations, Christoph Then, one of the speakers for the international coalition "No Patents on Seeds" states "this decision is a great success, however it does not rule out further patents for breeding plants or animals being granted in future." He calls for the European governments, the European Parliament and the European Commission to actively stop all patents on plants and animals now and urges to "stop speculating with our daily food! These patents not only pose a concern for farmers and breeders but foremost also for consumers and our world food supply."
The organisations behind No Patents On Seeds are especially concerned about increasing number of patents on plants, seeds and farm animals and their impact on farmers, breeders, innovation and biodiversity. These patents create new dependencies for farmers, breeders, food producers and consumers. These patents have to be regarded as misappropriation of basic resources in farm and food production and as general abuse of patent law. We call for an urgent re-think of European patent law in biotechnology and plant breeding and to support clear regulations that exclude from patentability processes for breeding, genetic material, plants and animals and food derived thereof.
No Patents on Seeds