EPO : new GMOs can be differentiated

According to companies, GMO products of genetic modification techniques are patentable because they are considered “inventions”. But to obtain these patents, the European Patent Office (EPO) require from the applicants to be clear about the techniques used for obtaining the organisms or genetic sequences covered by their patent. This obligation shows that, for the EPO, it is possible to differentiate, e.g. between GMOs obtained by patentable mutagenesis techniques on the one hand, and GMOs obtained by other techniques or any other organisms present in nature, on the other hand.

“Essentially biological process”, a definition shaken up

During the parliamentary work on the proposal for a European regulation on plant reproductive material, known as the “seeds regulation”, a question arose: should so-called “non-targeted mutagenesis” be considered as an “essentially biological process”? As these processes are excluded from patentability, the question may seem important. But such a decision would not be without consequences for the regulation of GMOs.

A Dutch seed company faces up to KWS patents

Inf’OGM interviewed a Dutch seed company that has developed a cold-resistant “organic” maize and that feels threatened by KWS patents. She tells us the story of her company Nordic Maize breeding, of her certified organic maize, of its likely future contamination by GMOs/NGTs…

Patents pose a real threat to two plant breeders

Since autumn 2023, the issue of patents has come to the fore in the debates surrounding the deregulation of GMOs. Some Member States and MEPs are concerned about the impact of agro-industry patents on the rest of the agricultural sector. History shows that the threats they represent are very real indeed. Here are two examples of seed companies whose products are targeted by such threats.

Excluding GMOs/NGTs from patentability would be an illusion

GMOs/NGTs : a deceptive patent ban

Deregulation of GMOs: 13 organisations call for it to be rejected

Prophetic but misleading: fictitious examples in patents

The dilemma faced by certain seed companies in relation to intellectual property rights

Patents on living organisms: abusive fortresses

Patents on genetic sequences: excess and fragility

Austria attempts to clarify the patentability of living matter

On 20 May 2023, the new Austrian Patent Act came into force. It specifies the exclusions from patentability in the field of plants and animals. One of the aims of these changes is to guarantee a degree of independence for breeders from patent right holders. What will happen in fine?