In 2018 the European Patent Office granted a patent on lettuce, that can be grown under hot climate conditions, to the Dutch company Rijk Zwaan Zaadteelt (EP2966992). The trait - which is also known from wild lettuce species - is supposed to be helpful in adaption to climate change.
The lettuce seeds are derived from conventional breeding without any involvement of genetic engineering. According to the text of the patent the lettuce seeds, the plants and all its offspring showing the desired traits are covered by the patent.
In the opinion of No Patents on Seeds! the patent violates the prohibition of patents on plants and on conventional breeding methods. No Patents on Seeds!, therefore, filed an opposition against this patent on lettuce on 17th of February 2019. An online hearing was held on 7 February 2024. The opposition was rejected, the patent is maintained. The detailed reasons for the decision will be published in writing by the EPO in a few weeks. A complaint can be filed against the decision.
Press release of No Patents on Seeds! Opposition against patent on conventionally-bred lettuce rejected (07 February 2024)
Press release in Spanish at BioEcoActual: Rechazada la oposición contra la patente de la lechuga de cultivo convencional (08 February 2024)
Press release of No Patents on Seeds! Decision imminent on a patent covering conventionally-bred lettuce (01 February 2024)
Press release of No Patents on Seeds! Opposition against patent on lettuce (06 March 2019)