On 14 May 2020, the highest legal body of the European Patent Office (EPO), the Enlarged Board of Appeal, ruled that “plants and animals exclusively obtained by essentially biological processes are not patentable”.

There have been attempts to register conventionally-bred crops by different companies which is why the European Commission, a number of member states and associations have called for a general decision against the patentability of those plants.

The Board also stated that the decision has “no retroactive effect on European patents containing such claims which were granted before 1 July 2017, or on pending European patent applications seeking protection for such claims which were filed before that date.”