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Referral to the Enlarged Board of Appeal related to plant patentability

5 April 2019

Today, pursuant to Article 112(1)(b) EPC, the President of the EPO has submitted questions to the Enlarged Board of Appeal which relate to the patentability of plants exclusively obtained by essentially biological processes and to decision T 1063/18 of a Technical Board of Appeal of December 2018. In the referral the President of the EPO seeks the Enlarged Board of Appeal to clarify the applicable legal framework.

The EPO reacts to the concerns expressed by the Contracting States, the user community and representatives of civil society who are worried about legal uncertainty resulting from decision T 1063/18.

The President of the EPO considers the referral to the Enlarged Board of Appeal as an important step on the way to restore legal certainty in the interest of the users of the European patent system and the general public.

The possibility of a referral to the Enlarged Board of Appeal was presented end of March at a meeting of the Administrative Council and met with broad support.

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