BETA


2012/2623(RSP) Resolution on the patenting of essential biological processes

Progress: Procedure completed

Legal Basis:
RoP 123-p2

Events

2012/09/20
   EC - Commission response to text adopted in plenary
Documents
2012/05/10
   EP - Results of vote in Parliament
2012/05/10
   EP - Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
Details

The European Parliament adopted a resolution by 354 votes to 192 with 22 abstentions on the patenting of essential biological processes. The resolution had been tabled by the S&D, EPP, ALDE and Greens/EFA groups. It recognises that patents promote the dissemination of valuable technical information and are an important tool for the transfer of technology. However, excessively broad patent protection especially in the area of breeding, can hamper innovation and progress and become detrimental to small and medium breeders by blocking access to animal and plant genetic resources.

Members note that Article 4 of Directive 98/44/EC and Article 53(b) of the European Patent Convention establish that plant and animal varieties and essentially biological processes for the production of plants or animals shall not be patentable. Nevertheless, patents on products derived from conventional breeding or on genetic material necessary for conventional breeding can undermine the exclusion established in Article 4 of Directive 98/44/EC and Article 53(b) of the European Patent Convention.

Parliament welcomes the decisions of the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office in the ‘broccoli’ (G 2/07) and ‘tomato’ (G 1/08) cases, dealing with the correct interpretation of the term ‘essentially biological processes for the production of plants (or animals)’ used in Directive 98/44/EC and the European Patent Convention to exclude such processes from patentability.

It calls on the EPO also to exclude from patenting products derived from conventional breeding and all conventional breeding methods, including SMART breeding (precision breeding) and breeding material used for conventional breeding.

Parliament also welcomes the recent decision of the European Patent Office in the WARF case and of the European Court of Justice in the Brüstle case, as they appropriately interpret Directive 98/44/EC and give important indications on the whole content approach. They call on the European Commission to draw the appropriate conclusions from these decisions also in other relevant policy areas in order to bring EU policy in line with these decisions.

Members also note that under Directive 98/44/EC the Commission is required to report annually on the development and implications of patent law in the field of biotechnology and genetic engineering, but that the Commission has not published any such reports since 2005.

They call on the Commission:

to address in its forthcoming report the ‘broccoli and tomato decisions’ of the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the EPO; to address in its forthcoming report the potential implications of the patenting of breeding methods for plants and their impact on the breeding industry, agriculture, the food industry and food security; to ensure that the EU will continue to apply a comprehensive breeders‘ exemption in its patent law for plant and animal breeding.

Documents
2012/05/10
   EP - End of procedure in Parliament
2012/05/09
   EP - Debate in Parliament
2012/05/02
   EP - Motion for a resolution
Documents

Documents

History

(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)

docs/0/docs/0/url
Old
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=MOTION&reference=B7-2012-228&language=EN
New
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/B-7-2012-0228_EN.html
docs/1/body
EC
events/2/docs/0/url
Old
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P7-TA-2012-202
New
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/TA-7-2012-0202_EN.html
activities
  • date: 2012-05-09T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20120509&type=CRE type: Debate in Parliament title: Debate in Parliament body: EP type: Debate in Parliament
  • date: 2012-05-10T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=21567&l=en type: Results of vote in Parliament title: Results of vote in Parliament url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P7-TA-2012-202 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading title: T7-0202/2012 body: EP type: Results of vote in Parliament
commission
  • body: EC dg: Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union commissioner: BARNIER Michel
committees
    docs
    • date: 2012-05-02T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=MOTION&reference=B7-2012-228&language=EN title: B7-0228/2012 type: Motion for a resolution body: EP
    • date: 2012-09-20T00:00:00 docs: url: /oeil/spdoc.do?i=21567&j=0&l=en title: SP(2012)541 type: Commission response to text adopted in plenary
    events
    • date: 2012-05-09T00:00:00 type: Debate in Parliament body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20120509&type=CRE title: Debate in Parliament
    • date: 2012-05-10T00:00:00 type: Results of vote in Parliament body: EP docs: url: https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=21567&l=en title: Results of vote in Parliament
    • date: 2012-05-10T00:00:00 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P7-TA-2012-202 title: T7-0202/2012 summary: The European Parliament adopted a resolution by 354 votes to 192 with 22 abstentions on the patenting of essential biological processes. The resolution had been tabled by the S&D, EPP, ALDE and Greens/EFA groups. It recognises that patents promote the dissemination of valuable technical information and are an important tool for the transfer of technology. However, excessively broad patent protection especially in the area of breeding, can hamper innovation and progress and become detrimental to small and medium breeders by blocking access to animal and plant genetic resources. Members note that Article 4 of Directive 98/44/EC and Article 53(b) of the European Patent Convention establish that plant and animal varieties and essentially biological processes for the production of plants or animals shall not be patentable. Nevertheless, patents on products derived from conventional breeding or on genetic material necessary for conventional breeding can undermine the exclusion established in Article 4 of Directive 98/44/EC and Article 53(b) of the European Patent Convention. Parliament welcomes the decisions of the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office in the ‘broccoli’ (G 2/07) and ‘tomato’ (G 1/08) cases, dealing with the correct interpretation of the term ‘essentially biological processes for the production of plants (or animals)’ used in Directive 98/44/EC and the European Patent Convention to exclude such processes from patentability. It calls on the EPO also to exclude from patenting products derived from conventional breeding and all conventional breeding methods, including SMART breeding (precision breeding) and breeding material used for conventional breeding. Parliament also welcomes the recent decision of the European Patent Office in the WARF case and of the European Court of Justice in the Brüstle case, as they appropriately interpret Directive 98/44/EC and give important indications on the whole content approach. They call on the European Commission to draw the appropriate conclusions from these decisions also in other relevant policy areas in order to bring EU policy in line with these decisions. Members also note that under Directive 98/44/EC the Commission is required to report annually on the development and implications of patent law in the field of biotechnology and genetic engineering, but that the Commission has not published any such reports since 2005. They call on the Commission: to address in its forthcoming report the ‘broccoli and tomato decisions’ of the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the EPO; to address in its forthcoming report the potential implications of the patenting of breeding methods for plants and their impact on the breeding industry, agriculture, the food industry and food security; to ensure that the EU will continue to apply a comprehensive breeders‘ exemption in its patent law for plant and animal breeding.
    • date: 2012-05-10T00:00:00 type: End of procedure in Parliament body: EP
    links
    other
    • body: EC dg: url: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/internal_market/ title: Internal Market and Services commissioner: BARNIER Michel
    procedure/legal_basis/0
    Rules of Procedure EP 123-p2
    procedure/legal_basis/0
    Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 123-p2
    procedure/subject
    Old
    • 3.10.04 Livestock farming
    • 3.10.06 Crop products in general, floriculture
    • 3.50.16 Industrial property, European patent, Community patent, design and pattern
    New
    3.10.04
    Livestock farming
    3.10.06
    Crop products in general, floriculture
    3.50.16
    Industrial property, European patent, Community patent, design and pattern
    procedure/subtype
    Old
    Resolution on statements
    New
    Resolution on statement
    activities/0/date
    Old
    2012-05-02T00:00:00
    New
    2012-05-09T00:00:00
    activities/0/docs/0/title
    Old
    B7-0228/2012
    New
    Debate in Parliament
    activities/0/docs/0/type
    Old
    Motion for a resolution
    New
    Debate in Parliament
    activities/0/docs/0/url
    Old
    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=MOTION&reference=B7-2012-228&language=EN
    New
    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20120509&type=CRE
    activities/0/type
    Old
    Motion for a resolution
    New
    Debate in Parliament
    activities/1/date
    Old
    2012-05-09T00:00:00
    New
    2012-05-10T00:00:00
    activities/1/docs
    • url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=21567&l=en type: Results of vote in Parliament title: Results of vote in Parliament
    • url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P7-TA-2012-202 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading title: T7-0202/2012
    activities/1/type
    Old
    Debate in Parliament
    New
    Results of vote in Parliament
    activities/2
    date
    2012-05-10T00:00:00
    docs
    url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P7-TA-2012-202 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading title: T7-0202/2012
    body
    EP
    type
    Text adopted by Parliament, single reading
    procedure/legal_basis
    • Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 123-p2
    procedure/subject/0
    3.10.04 Livestock farming
    activities/0
    date
    2012-05-02T00:00:00
    docs
    url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=MOTION&reference=B7-2012-228&language=EN type: Motion for a resolution title: B7-0228/2012
    body
    EP
    type
    Motion for a resolution
    activities/2/docs
    • url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P7-TA-2012-202 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading title: T7-0202/2012
    activities/2/type
    Old
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    New
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    Old
    Awaiting Parliament 1st reading / single reading / budget 1st stage
    New
    Procedure completed
    procedure/title
    Old
    Patenting of essential biological processes
    New
    Resolution on the patenting of essential biological processes
    activities/0/type
    Old
    Debate scheduled
    New
    Debate in Parliament
    procedure/legal_basis
    • Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 110-p2
    activities
    • date: 2012-05-09T00:00:00 body: EP type: Debate scheduled
    • date: 2012-05-10T00:00:00 body: EP type: Vote scheduled
    committees
      links
      other
      • body: EC dg: url: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/internal_market/ title: Internal Market and Services commissioner: BARNIER Michel
      procedure
      reference
      2012/2623(RSP)
      title
      Patenting of essential biological processes
      legal_basis
      Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 110-p2
      stage_reached
      Awaiting Parliament 1st reading / single reading / budget 1st stage
      subtype
      Resolution on statements
      type
      RSP - Resolutions on topical subjects
      subject