Crop Biotech Update

European Academies Form Task Force on Intellectual Property System for NGTs

December 14, 2022

The All European Academies (ALLEA) announced the establishment of a task force that will look into the protection of intellectual property rights on new genomic techniques (NGTs) in support of a more equitable system.

The task force's goal is to ensure that European researchers, small and traditional breeders, and farmers will be able to avoid the unintentional patent infringement but still be able to receive the benefits of NGTs. Some concerns that the task force is expected to address include the ability of academic researchers and small breeders to utilize NGTs without fear that these technologies have been previously patented or monopolized by other companies. Likewise, the task force will also look into some of the breeders' concern about inadvertently using a patented NGT during traditional breeding, since changes introduced by NGTs is not often distinguished from those developed using conventional breeding methods.

The task force were already able to come up with recommendations regarding the said concerns during their meeting on November 15, 2022. These include promoting increased transparency and skills to investigate existing patents and licenses, and possibly reforming the European patent system. The task force is open to receiving comments and suggestions from different stakeholders to come up with resolutions to support an improved patenting system.

To know more about the task force and its members, read the announcement by ALLEA.

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