On 22 March 2021, the day before the Administrative Council meeting at the European Patent Office (EPO), WeMove Europe, the Munich Environmental Institute and No Patents on Seeds! handed over more than 180.000 signatures against patents on the conventional breeding of plants and animals. As shown in a recent report, several legal loopholes still enable companies to evade prohibitions on patents covering conventional breeding, and allows them to claim plants, seeds and food derived thereof as their ‘invention’.
Two days after the meeting, the President of the Administrative Council, Mr Josef Kratochvíl, reacted to the public activities via a letter. He states that “the Administrative Council understands and respects the opinion of civil society groups dissenting with the applicable legal framework. We know that also the EPO is in a fruitful dialogue with these groups.”
We acknowledge this letter as a signal of respect to our activities. However, we are not satisfied as long as the legal loopholes are not closed. Patents on plants and animals derived from conventional breeding are in contradiction with the European Patent Law. They are an abuse of the patent system to take control of our daily food, agriculture and future of breeding.
After months of discussions and exchange of arguments, we demand that the Administrative Council, in its next meeting end of June, is taking real steps to take its responsibility for a correct interpretation of the European patent law and to finally stop patents on plants and animals derived from conventional breeding.
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Photos: Falk Heller / argum