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Opinion: Why patents on seeds should not be granted

Managing Intellectual Property

The EPO’s Enlarged Board of Appeal is due to issue its decision in a case relating to the patentability of plant breeding in broccoli before the end of the year. Christoph Then, who advises Greenpeace on biopatents, explains why he thinks the Office should say No

In 2002 the EPO granted a patent on broccoli to Plant Bioscience Ltd, a British business (EP 1069819). The breeding process selects conventional plants and does not involve genetic engineering. The patent covers the whole chain of food production: the...

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