Workshop B1: GMO patents and seed legislation

One of the beauties of GMOs for companies and scientists is the possibility of attaining exclusive patent rights over specific genes as well as all plants containing certain GM-sequences. Such private intellectual property rights are unknown of in the history of seed development and breeding, promising high revenues as well as new means to control farmers, seed and food. Patent rights are even claimed on seeds which are inadvertendly contaminated with GM traits. A new EU-patent Directive is being implemented in national legislation to this end.


Fran├žois Meienberg, Berne Declaration -Switzerland

Michael Miersch, Lawyer - Germany  (German)


Meienberg: GMO Patents and Seed legislation - Berne Declaration

Miersch: Thesis paper: legal cases on reproduction (seed multiplication)

1. The case in front of the Court of Europe with the number C-305/00 Schulin./. Saatgut-Treuhandverwaltungs GmbH is about the question, when and what information a farmer has to give a seed company - judgement / opinion

2.The case C-336/02 Saatgut-Treuhandverwaltungs GmbH ./. Brangewitz ist about the question, when and what information a company has to give a seed company, which operated as a supplier of processing services for the farmers. This company are cleaning, sorting and disinfecting the plant varieties for the farmers - judgement / opinion

Background Papers:

GMOs and patents in Italy - by Fabrizia Pratesi, Equivita, Italy

European Court of Justice, Judgement 10 April 2003
Plant varieties - System of protection - Use by farmers of the product of the harvest - Obligation to provide information to the holder of the Community right