Report of the Committee on Biotechnological Inventions
A. De Clercq (BE), Chair
Our committee had its last yearly meeting on 22 November 2016. The minutes of said meeting were published in the epi information 1/2017.
The EPO Biotech Directors have proposed to meet again with a delegation of our committee in 2017 (a date is being scheduled still).
The EC issued a notice on 3 November 2016 on certain articles of the Biotech Directive 98/44/EC relating to patentability of products obtained by essentially biological processes suggesting that the Biotech Directive should be interpreted to exclude plant products. Simon Wright attended the CPL meeting on 21 November 2016 where this notice was discussed. Our committee discussed the EC notice of 3 November 2016 at our meeting and further in detail by email.
On 24 November 2016 the EPO issued a notice informing that they would stay the proceedings of certain cases due to the Commission Notice of 3 November 2016. Such a stay is unprecedented at the EPO.
The epi Biotech Committee has prepared comments on the "Commission Notice on certain articles of Directive 98/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions" and the "Notice from the European Patent Office dated 24 November 2016 concerning the staying of proceedings due to the Commission Notice on certain articles of Directive 98/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 1998 on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions" which were discussed at the Manchester Board meeting.
The EPO has issued its review in preparation of the CPL meeting (CA/PL 4/17) dated March 23, 2017. Epi comments were prepared to this EPO review and a version was approved at the Munich Council meeting as attached. These comments were presented at the CPL meeting of end April by the epi attendants.