Workshop C3: Patents: The monopolisation of plants and animals

Saturday, 25th April 2009, 12.30 – 15.00

Chair and moderator:

François Meienberg, Berne Declaration


1: Christoph Then, No patents on seeds,
Presentation: The future of seeds and food under growing threat of patents and market concentration (pdf, 1,4 MB, English)
2: François Meienberg, Berne Declaration
Presentation: Plant Patents and Plant Variety Protection (pdf, 108 KB, English)
3: Teshome Hundumu Mulesa, Norwegian Development Fund


More and more plants and animals – even conventionally bred ones – are becoming the subject of patents and plant variety rights and are thus being monopolised. This has far-reaching effects on food safety, innovation and biodiversity. In a few months time, the European Patent Office will make a fundamental ruling that will be decisive for further development. In this workshop, we will provide an overview of these developments and discuss ways of becoming active in order to stop this disastrous trend.


(1) Input 1 (FM):

- The relevant international treaties (TRIPS, UPOV, FAO treaty, European Patent Convention).
- “Farmers Rights” for plants and animals
- National legislation – remaining leeway
- Lack of democracy in the decision-making bodies

(2) Input 2 (CT):

- Developments in the USA
- Case studies of animal and plant patents
- The “No patents on seeds” initiative and current negotiations at the European Patent Office

(3) Questions and discussion

(4) Exchange on possible networking to strengthen resistance against animal and plant monopolies in Europe.

Background and literature: