The International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) welcomes the decision by the European Patent Office (EPO) to no longer grant patents to plants that are the result of classical cross-breeding and selection.
AIPH has long campaigned that the patenting of plants goes against the ‘breeders exemption’ that exists within established and accepted Plant Breeders Rights (PBR) regulations. This exemption enables breeders free access to genetic material for breeding without the need to gain the authorisation of a patent holder. Any restriction on this will reduce the number and range of new varieties entering the market and will stifle innovation.
Commenting on this news AIPH Novelty Protection advisor, Ms. Mia Buma said “We are pleased to see that EPO has followed the lead of the European Commission on this subject and we are hopeful that regulatory authorities in other parts of the world will also make the same decision.”
AIPH Secretary General, Mr. Tim Briercliffe added “The ‘breeders exemption’ within PBR has served this industry well but we frequently find it is under threat through issues like patenting as well as in proposed legislation. We continue to monitor this situation and argue the case for growers when required.”
The next AIPH meeting on Novelty Protection will take place during the 69th AIPH Annual Congress to take place in Taichung, Chinese Taipei from 25-29 September 2017.