Patentability of plants and essential biological processes

Author (Corporate)
Series Title
Series Details 2019/2800(RSP)
Publication Date 2019
Content Type


Non-legislative resolution debated and voted by the European Parliament in September 2019 relating to the patentability of plants and essential biological processes.

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The resolution calls on fruit, vegetables or animals obtained from conventional breeding processes not to become patentable. The Document states that patent-free access to biological plant material is essential to boost innovation and competitiveness of the European plant-breeding and farming sectors, to develop new varieties, improve food security and tackle climate change.

During the debate held on 19 September 2019, many members of the European Parliament also argued that access to genetic resources must not be restricted, as this could lead to a situation where a few multinational companies have a monopoly on plant breeding material, to the detriment of EU farmers and consumers. The plenary session urged the European Commission to undertake efforts to convince the European Patent Office (EPO) not to grant patents to products obtained from essentially biological processes. It also urged the EPO to restore legal clarity on the matter, stressing that none of 38 states which signed the European Patent Convention allow conventionally bred products to be patented.

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Related Links
EurActiv, 20/09/2019: MEPs rebuke European Patent Office over conventional breeding copyright

European Parliament: Press Release, 19/09/2019: No patents on naturally obtained plants and seeds

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