Although there have been tensions in recent times over the balance between patent and plant variety rights, it seems that the EPO and CPVO are keen to continue with their formal co-operation.
Recently, the European Commission has held that rulings by the EPO’s Enlarged Board of Appeal to allow claims to products obtained from an essentially biological process were contrary to the intentions of the Biotechnology Directive. This resulted in (controversial) amendments to Rules 27 and 28 EPC in order to exclude from patentability plants and animals exclusively obtained by essentially biological processes.
Co-operation between the two offices responsible for complementary rights should be a positive way of ensuring consistency in practice.
The co-operation between our Offices creates a sound and reliable basis for effectively furthering innovation in the plant sector through greater transparency and a deeper understanding of each other’s roles”, EPO President Antonio Campinos commented. CPVO President Martin Ekvad welcomed the considerable progress that has been made to strengthen the interinstitutional relationship. He also remarked that “the CPVO is happy to continue the good co-operation with the EPO on the technical and policy level