Opposition against a patent on maize with previously known traits
16 May 2023 / No Patents on Seeds! will be filing an opposition this week at the European Patent Office (EPO) against a patent on maize. The patent, EP 3380618, is owned by the German company, KWS, and covers maize plants which will grow in a colder climate. These plants were bred from maize plant populations already known to tolerate colder conditions.
“Plants with the traits claimed in the patent have been present on the market for years. Granting these patents just increases legal risks, costs and uncertainties,” says Grietje Raaphorst, a representative of the Dutch company, Nordic Maize Breeding. “It could mean that Nordic Maize Breeding will be the last company to start a maize breeding program and the freedom to breed will come to an end.”