Friday, January 22, 2016

No patent on melons – Frankfurter Rundschau

January 21, 2016

The European Patent Office in Munich. Photo: AP

After protests an international alliance, the European Patent Office shall cancel an industrial property right on virus-resistant melon on. For the patent opponents but the judgment is only partly a breakthrough.


The European Patent Office ( Epa) can be different. Accompanied by protests an international alliance against patents on life, it has lifted surprisingly an intellectual property right on virus-resistant melon. In jubilation the Intitiatoren the run of the citizens’ movement Campact protest alliance are still not broken out.

“The EPA has in 2011 granted patent EP canceled 1,962,578, because it was not described technically sufficient,” explains patent expert at the environmental group Greenpeace, Christoph Then. He previously held the opposition to have little chance. A real breakthrough patent opponents should the current success yet not.

After all in its reasoning insist the Office that patents on plants, seeds and animals are not excluded in principle, stressed Then. The activists see it differently. The European patent law prohibits the text but only an intellectual property right on conventional breeding methods, but not the resulting products

. “Politics now on train”

In the current dispute, which was a melon whose virus-resistant variant in India occurs naturally. Patent holder was the US group Monsanto, who has identified the responsible for this natural resistance components of fruit and transferred to other melons. Experts expect that Monsanto will appeal to revoke the patent. Decided Final the matter is therefore not yet, and the fundamental problem of patents on life is already on the agenda.

“Now the policy is on the train,” said Campact activist Lara Dovifat. More than 1,000 additional patent applications on plants, animals and seeds stood at European Patent Office for a decision. The will of citizens to ban them was unique. After all, their alliance had collected within two days nearly 300 000 signatures to ban such patents. Now should the EPA Board, in which the Federal Republic is represented as one of 38 States, its monitoring mission and prohibit patents on life


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