Experts from the Working Group on Licences and Technical Contracts Discuss Biotech Patent Law

The Working Group on Licences and Technical Contracts held a teleconference at the beginning of February to discuss the Bundestag’s interparty motion on biotech patent law. The aim of the joint motion by all parties represented in the Bundestag (apart from the Left Party) is to amend the EU’s directive on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions and German patent law and to prevent the patenting of conventionally bred livestock and plants. However, in its product-by-process claims, the motion means that such claims would become virtually impossible for livestock and plants. The experts were in agreement that this could even lead to a situation whereby substances produced using livestock and/or plants could no longer be protected. The members of the working group now want to include this aspect in the wider political discussion.

The experts also discussed a suggestion by the Federal Ministry of Justice on section 108a of the Insolvency Statute. The idea behind the suggestion on this rule is to protect licences if a company goes bankrupt. However, the members of the working group are critical of the current suggested rule and see a need for improvement, particularly in the field of cross licences. The working group plans to provide active guidance on the progress of the procedure.

The working group’s co-chairpersons, Martin Pöhlchen and Rainer Wessel, also reported on their meeting with representatives from the Federal Ministry of Justice in January. (Please see the report in BIO Deutschland’s January newsletter.)

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