EPO PATENT CASES
Important legal disputes at the European Patent Office
The European Patent Office (EPO) has already granted many hundreds of patents on genetically engineered plants and animals (see statistics) and has even started to grant patents on normal, non modified plants .
However, legally speaking, there is still uncertainty on where patentability ends. Both the EPC and the EU directive 98/44/EC set limits to patentability of living organisms. Nevertheless, the EPO has repeatedly granted patents which clearly go behond these limits. Some of them have been revoked following an opposition procedure. In other cases the EPO has interpreted the laws in such a way as to undermine the limits of patentability.
Here we present the most important patents which have been disputed and
which are important for the development of case law in the area of
plants and animals.