Members of our team have experience in acquiring intellectual property rights for plant innovation, including the patenting of plant biotechnology inventions and the acquisition of Plant Variety Protection rights. This is a field where the interplay of different intellectual property rights is particularly important and protection strategies can be complex, especially in view of the territorial differences in law and practice. Our attorneys are experienced advisers who can navigate the different requirements and help applicants to obtain the best protection available.
The patenting of innovation in the plant biotechnology is a very active area, but it is also a field in which patentability can vary significantly in different territories. In Europe, the European Patent Convention has always explicitly excluded plant varieties and essentially biological processes for the production of plants from patentability. This exclusion has rarely impacted innovation in the plant biotechnology field. Nevertheless, applicants have consistently tested this exclusion and sought patent protection for innovative plants with varying degrees of success. This resulted in a clarification that the exclusion from patentability extends to living matter obtained by essentially biological processes. A small but significant change in this field.
Our team is also experienced in handling applications for Plant Variety Protection (also referred to as Plant Breeders’ Rights or Plant Variety Rights), with their variable and sometimes onerous formal requirements.