Patent on Severed Broccoli


In June 2013, Seminis, a company owned by Bayer/Monsanto, was granted patent EP1597965 on broccoli that was (conventionally) bred to have a certain shape to make mechanical harvesting easier. The patent covers the plants, the seeds and the “severed broccoli head” which is used for food. It additionally covers a “plurality of broccoli plants (…) grown in a field of broccoli”. The method used to produce these plants was purely crossing and selection. In May 2014, an opposition was filed with support of NO PATENTS ON SEEDS!. The patent was revoked in September 2018. But Bayer/Monsanto appealed this decision. In February 2021 this appeal has been backed by the EPO (T2840/18). The case will now be re-opened for further proceedings. A hearing is scheduled for 9 February 2023. 

Photos of handing over the opposition (March 2014) 

The patent file EP1597965

All documents of the patent on EPO website

Media coverage:

7/11/2018, Ingenioren (DK), Patentkontor ophæver Monsanto-patent: Jeres broccoli er ikke GMO

Reports in German can be found on the German version of this site.