22 dicembre 2014 – Monaco – A seguito dell’opposizione legale avviata dalla coalizione internazionale No Patent on Seeds nel maggio 2014, il brevetto EP1812575 rilasciato a Monsanto è staot revocato con la motivazione di presunta “frode e abuso della legislazione sui brevetti”.
Il brevetto riguardava una varietà convenzionale di pomodoro che presenta una naturale resistenza a botrytis.
Segue il comunicato stampa di No Patent on Seeds.
After opposition: Monsanto´s patent on tomatoes revoked
Monsanto alleged of “fraud and abuse of patent law”
22.12.2014 / Munich. Patent EP1812575 of US company Monsanto was revoked by the European Patent Office (EPO) after representatives of the international coalition No Patents on Seeds! filed an opposition in May 2014. Another opposition was filed by company of Nunhems / Bayer CropScience. In November 2014 Monsanto withdrew the patent and thus the EPO declared the patent to be revoked. The patent claimed conventionally bred tomatoes as with a natural resistance to a fungal disease called botrytis as an invention. The original tomatoes used for this patent were accessed via the international gene bank in Gatersleben, Germany. It was already known that these plants had the desired resistance. Monsanto produced a cleverly worded patent in order to create the impression that genetic engineering had been used to produce the tomatoes and to make it look ‘inventive’.
“The revokation of this patent is an important success. Its was more or less based on a combination of fraud, abuse of patent law and biopiracy. This patent was suited to monopolise important genetic ressources”, says Christopher Then coordinator of No Patent on Seeds. “Now breeders, growers and consumers in future might benefit from a diversity of tomatoes being improved by further breeding. The intended resistance is based on complex genetic conditions, not known in detail. Thus genetic engineering is not an option in this case.”
More than hundred patents were granted already by the EPO on conventional breeding of plants, despite “essentially biological processes for the production of plants and animals” and “plant varieties” are excluded from patentability. Furthermore, the EPO granted around 2400 patents on genetically engineered plants. Many patents in this field are owned by Monsanto which already controls around 25 percent of the international seed market. The coalition of No Patents on seeds has filed further oppositions against patents of the US company, covering broccoli which can be harvested mechanically (EP 1597965), melons that are resistant to plant viruses (EP1962578) and selection of plants for breeding of soybeans (EP 2134870) adapted to climate change.
As a recently published report from “No Patents on Seeds!” shows, the EPO is granting more and more patents in this field, intentionally undermining existing prohibitions. The coalition calls on the European governments to take the EPO under political control to ensure a correct interpretation of patent law that renders its prohibitions effective. Furthermore, No Patents on Seeds! is calling for a revision of European Patent Law to exclude breeding material, plants and animals and food derived thereof from patentability.
The organisations behind the coalition of No Patents on Seeds! are concerned that patents on plant and animal breeding will foster further market concentration, making farmers and other stakeholders of the food supply chain even more dependent on just a few big international companies and ultimately reduce consumer choice. The coalition of No Patents on Seeds! is organised by Bionext (Netherlands), The Berne Declaration (Switzerland), GeneWatch (UK), Greenpeace, Misereor (Germany), Development Fund (Norway), No Patents on Life (Germany), Red de Semillas (Spain), Rete Semi Rurali (Italy), Reseau Semences Paysannes (France) and Swissaid (Switzerland). They are calling for a revision of European Patent Law to exclude breeding material, plants and animals and food derived thereof from patentability. The coalition is supported by several hundred other organisations.
Report of No Patents on Seeds:
Text of the opposition and the patent:
www.no-patents-on-seeds.org/de/info … r-botrytis
For more information: www.no-patents-on-seeds.org