Niveau juridique : Union européenne
Texte de la question :
« Several farming and environmentalist organisations have been expressing grave disquiet at the fact that more and more plant and animal patents are being filed by a small number of large companies. This trend could jeopardise biodiversity and lead to a situation in which the rural world would be dependent, to an intolerable degree, on a handful of multinationals.
According to these organisations, the amendments to the regulation concerning the Convention on the Grant of European Patents put forward in June by the European Patent Office, which is seeking to rule out the possibility of patenting plants and animals produced by essentially biological means, including mutation, are not sufficient to protect farmers and biodiversity. On 3 November 2016 the Commission adopted a notice clarifying certain articles of Directive 98/44/EC to help achieve the above aim.
How does the Commission view the state of play? Given that this has long been called for, will it amend Directive 98/44/EC in order to incorporate the substance of the abovementioned notice, thereby providing legal certainty in support of the principle that products created by biological processes or mutagenesis must not be patentable? »
Texte de la réponse :
« The objective of the Commission Notice of 3 November 2016(1) was to clarify certain very specific issues of Directive 98/44 on the legal protection of the biotechnological inventions, in particular concerning the non-patentability of products emanating from essentially biological processes. The view taken by the Commission in the Notice, which was subsequently unanimously endorsed in Council Conclusions on 20 February 2017, was latterly incorporated into the implementing rules of the European Patent Convention. This is a major development, since it means in practice that no more patents will be granted for this type of inventions.
The Commission Notice did not intend to shed light on all issues concerning the interplay between patents, breeding and farmers’ activities. For that reason, the Notice announced that certain issues were beyond its scope, and would benefit from further discussion and analysis. To this end, the Commission is currently pursuing its reflections with Member States and stakeholders. »
Texte de la question disponible ici