“No Patents On Seeds” Serves EPO Patent Objection And Free Pepper Soup

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By Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch

Thirty-two farmer, breeder and environmental organisations from 26 countries gathered by the “no-patents-on-seeds” alliance today filed an opposition against a patent on an insect-resistant sweet pepper at the European Patent Office in Munich.

No Patent on Pepper EPO Feb 2014

Credit: Monika Ermert

According to the complainants, the feature was copied from wild Jamaican pepper. The patent granted to Swiss agri-business company Syngenta by the EPO in 2013 contradicted a resolution of the European Parliament from 2012 that called on the EPO “to exclude from patenting products derived from conventional breeding and all conventional breeding methods,” they argued.

Patent applications must meet minimum standards for an innovation.

Celebrating the largest-ever group jointly filing such an objection, the organisations invited EPO staff and public to get some hot pepper soup in front of the EPO building in Munich.

Staff of the patent office were cautious to accept the invitations, according to the organisers. The objection will take years to be decided, allowing Syngenta to exploit the patent until an eventual revocation.

Final decisions on earlier objections on tomatoes and broccoli patents have been pending for a decade.

A press release is available here.

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