New non-legislative resolution: The members of the European Parliament (MEP) agreed that fruit, vegetables or animals obtained from conventional breeding processes should not be patentable.
Patent-free access to biological plant material is essential to boost innovation and competitiveness of the European plant-breeding and farming sectors, to develop new varieties, improve food security and tackle climate change, MEPs stressed in the resolution. Furthermore, access to genetic resources must not be restricted, as this could lead to a situation where a few multinational companies have a monopoly on plant breeding material, to the detriment of EU farmers and consumers, many MEPs said in Monday’s plenary debate.
The non-legislative resolution the Parliament adopted on Thursday comes ahead of the 1 October deadline for submitting statements on the patentability of naturally obtained plants to the final appellate instance in the European Patent Office (EPO). The final judgement will come from the EPO’s Enlarged Board of Appeal.