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Hearing fixed for “Broccoli” and “Tomatoes” cases before the EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal, G 0002/07 and G 0001/08

Post from Paul Cole

The EPC prohibits patents for essentially biological processes and the referred questions relate to the degree and nature of human technical intervention, which is necessary for that provision not to apply.  Case G 0002/07 “Broccoli” concerns EP-B-1 069 819 Plant Bioscience Limited  which has been opposed by Syngenta Participations AG and Groupe Limagrain Holding, referring decision T 0083/05. The patent relates to methods for producing new Brassica plants, in particular broccoli, with elevated levels of anticarcinogenic glucosinolates. The claimed method involves the selective, molecular marker assisted breeding of “double haploid” breeding lines of broccoli with wild Brassica oleracea species.

Case G 0001/08 “Tomatoes” concerns EP-B-1211926 State of Israel Minister of Agriculture and is opposed by Unilever NV, referring decision T 1242/06.

The two cases have been consolidated in view of the similarity of the issues raised.

The hearing is to take place in Munich on 20 and 21st July 2010.

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