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Governments back EPO review of plant patentability

Image: François MEY [CC BY 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Almost all of the European Patent Office’s 38 member countries have given their “broad and overwhelming” support to a review of the office’s rules on patenting plants.

EPO president António Campinos promised member states that his office will “restore legal certainty fully and speedily”, according to an EPO statement on 29 March. The patenting is controversial, as there is a dispute over what sort of technological application should be required to deem a plant a new product.

The EPO has faced criticism from industry since December 2018, when legal advisers struck down a rule explicitly stating that plants bred using conventional methods cannot be patented.

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