In 2017 the EPO amended its rules to exclude from patentability plants and animals obtained by essentially biological breeding processes. The Opposition Division at the EPO has now used these new rules for the first time to revoke Monsanto's patent covering broccoli plants with an exerted head which are easier to harvest.
At the time of the opposition protestors from the No Patents on Seeds Association built a giant broccoli outside the EPO in Munich. It remains to be seen whether further innovative protests will be seen in the future following this apparent success!
Jason Rutt comments further in LSIPR.
In late October, the office revoked European patent number 1,597,965. Originally granted in 2013 to agrochemical company Monsanto (which has since been acquired by Bayer), the patent covers broccoli plants that have an “exerted head”, making them easier to harvest.