Notice from the European Patent Office dated 3 July 2017 concerning the resumption of proceedings following the decision of the Administrative Council of 29 June 2017 to amend Rules 27 and 28 EPC in order to exclude from patentability under Article 53(b) EPC plants and animals exclusively obtained by essentially biological processes
1. On 24 November 2016, the President of the EPO decided to stay, ex officio, all proceedings before EPO examining and opposition divisions in which the decision depends entirely on the patentability of a plant or animal obtained by an essentially biological process (cf. OJ EPO 2016, A104).
2. Based on a proposal submitted by the Office, the Administrative Council of the EPO decided on 29 June 2017 to amend Rules 27 and 28 EPC to exclude from patentability plants and animals exclusively obtained by an essentially biological breeding process.
3. The decision of the Administrative Council entered into force on 1 July 2017. Amended Rules 27 and 28 EPC apply to European patent applications filed on or after this date, as well as to European patent applications and European patents pending at that time.
4. The President of the EPO has decided that the stay is released as of 1 July 2017 and affected proceedings will be gradually resumed.