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THE SUNFLOWER CASE 2 (Pioneer)

EP 1465475 B1 - Orobranche resistant sunflowers

 

EP 1465475 B1 20061004 WO 03/073837

Title: Orobranche resistant sunflowers

Proprietor: Pioneer Overseas Corp. (US)

Opposition: Greenpeace

Specials: Sunflower plant resistant to Orobranche obtained by crossing and harvesting; tissue culture; method of regenerating a plant; method for preparing oil or meal of seed; method comprising processing oil for food and feeding meal to livestock. No GE, wide.

Status: revoked in May 2009


DuPont’s seed company Pioneer was granted European Patent EP 1465475 B1 on 4 October 2006 which claims sunflowers resistant to a certain root parasite (Orobranche). The patent comprises naturally occuring sunflowers and simple cross-breeding methods, and the seeds and plants thereof, as well as the growing of the plants, the harvesting of sunflower seeds and the crushing of those to obtain sunflower oil or meal.


Claim examples: 

Claim 1: A method for producing a sunflower line resistant to Orobanche cumana races, the method comprising crossing a first sunflower plant to a second sunflower plant and harvesting the resultant progeny seed (...)

Claim 2: A sunflower plant, or parts thereof, produced by the method of claim 1.

Claim 3: Seed of the sunflower plant of claim 2.

Claim 38: A method for preparing oil and/or meal of seed of a sunflower plant (...), the method comprising: crushing seed from the sunflower plant and separating the oil and/or meal (...). 


In July 2007 Greenpeace filed an opposition to this patent. (see also --> news-press releases)

In May 2009 the patent was revoked for purely procedural reasons. Pioneer had made technical mistakes in the way they deposited material of the patented sunflower.


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WO...  numbers are world patent applications, at WIPO

EP... numbers are European Patents 

EP...A. numbers are European patent applications 

EP....B1 numbers are European Patents as granted

EP....B2 numbers are patents as granted after the closure of a dispute

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Opposition is the First Instance

Appeal is the Second Instance

Enlarged Board of Appeal is the highest court within the EPO, which has the final say.