No Patents on Seeds

Public hearing and protest against patents on plants

Munich, 18 August 2011. The European Patent Office (EPO) in Munich has recently granted a patent for the German company Bayer for breeding plants with a higher stress tolerance (EP1616013). The comprehensive patent will give Bayer monopoly control over important food crops including both genetic engineering in plants and the process for conventional breeding and plants derived thereof.

Patents on processes for conventional breeding, based on crossing and selection, are in conflict with Article 53b of the European Patent Convention. This was confirmed by the EPO in a precedent decision at the end of 2010. However, in claim 14 of the Bayer patent nothing else is patented than conventional plant breeding based on natural genetic conditions.

This new patent for Bayer breaks the law. It conflicts in particular with the prohibition of patents on essentially biological‘ processes for breeding. This case shows once more that European Patent Law needs to be revised in order to effectively prohibit patents on the breeding of plants and animals. Further, the EPO must be subjected to independent control. If these kind of patents are not stopped, resources for daily living will be sold out to companies such as Bayer and Monsanto, warns Christoph Then, a representative of the international coalition “no patents on seeds”.

Further, the other patent claims granted to Bayer are in a legal grey area. The European Patent Law excludes patents on “plant varieties” but this patent also covers the marketing of seeds perceived as plant varieties. Furthermore, patents on mutational breeding are used since a long time and lack inventiveness. Granting these kind patents that lack any kind of “invention” have been criticized as inflationary and even as an abuse of patent law by many observers.

This patent is a wake-up call for political decision makers to respond to the protests from farmers, breeders, consumers, environmental and development organizations against patents on plants and animals. The international coalition “no patents on seeds” and many other organizations are now preparing for a day of protest at the European Patent Office in Munich: On 26 October 2011, there will be a final public hearing at the EPO and a decision is due to be taken in a precedent case, a patent on broccoli. The protest is aiming to send out a strong signal to politicians in Europe, to no longer leave decision-making to the European Patent Office, but to implement effective regulations against patents on plants and animals.

Contact: Christoph Then, Tel +4915154638040

Link to the patent:…

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7 Responses to “New patent granted to Bayer breaks the law”

  1. irene says:

    preemptive lawsuit anyone? there is GMO alfalfa being planted in the rocky mountains, I want to have the abillity to sue the seed manufacturer if their seed contaminates my farm. I want the guy who planted the seed to sue the seed manufacturer with me because the seed was misrepresented, and costs more inputs not less like the manufacturer prommissed.
    Did the jews and political prisoners of WW2 ever get paid retribution? Certanly not the dead ones. With diseases developing antibiotic resistance and bacteria making Bt. poison in peoples intestines I wonder if any of our generations will be around to collect the retribution, or even tell the story.

  2. g0ysDOTorg says:

    Not only that, -but the studio that produced the movie “GATTACA” has now applied to extend it’s trademark to include all organisms that contain the same letter sequence in their DNA and make them liable for royalties -which includes the right to make videos whenever the code is transmitted to subsequent generations (for the purpose of evidence, of course).

  3. Alan says:

    Ridiculous and Criminal…. These large conglomerate companies break any laws to run their meglomaniac agenda….

  4. Gilda Kneitz says:

    Does anyone else feel like burying their head in the sand? This is too much. So much for the “tipping point” away from all this madness.

  5. Lisa says:

    We have been ripped from our life context, culturally. We have been divorced for sooo long from biophysical nature & awareness that our view of the world & ourselves is little more than institutionalized hallucination. Images such as human supremacy over all things animate & inanimate.. an obese GNP is the model of social health & high technology is the holy grail..

    It is a halluncination to think that there can be a completely planned, organized, ordered, understandable, and manageable universe. J.A. Livingston

  6. Pierre says:

    I am very sick and tired about those poisonous companies that are kiling us. My best wishe that on day somebody will blow Monsanto and the other!

  7. marv says:

    Well isn’t that just fecking GREAT. Search YT for “bayer france hiv tainted blood product”.