New Statement on Bio-Patent Regulations by the Working Group on Licences and Technical Contracts

BIO Deutschland welcomed the resolution passed in June by the Bundestag (Lower Chamber) on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions. The majority of the members of the Bundestag voted against a motion by the Bündnis 90/Greens parliamentary group, which wanted to carry out a demand to the Federal Government to amend the existing European directive 98/44/EC before the European committees concerned next meet.

In a statement published on this topic, the association urged that the conditions laid down in the directive of 6 July 1998 by the European Parliament and the European Council (OJEC No. L 213, p. 13) regarding the legal protection of biotechnological inventions be maintained. The conclusion of the position paper written by BIO Deutschland’s Working Group on Licences and Technical Contracts is that on the whole, the bio-patent directive currently in force creates valuable clarification on the protection of biotechnological inventions. In its paper, the working group stated that the regulation formed a good basis on which jurisdiction can develop solid decision procedures. According to the current legal position, patents cannot be awarded to existing plants and animals. Under patent law, a discovery is clearly separated from an invention. As a result, industry and research do not see a need to amend the legislative situation.

In its position paper, BIO Deutschland also warned about the negative effects on Germany as a location for research, development and manufacturing, should there be a lack of patent protection - without protection for inventions, there is no incentive to turn innovative ideas into new, marketable products. The economic impact would be weaker international competitiveness among small and medium-sized companies, which to date have made a significant contribution to turning Germany into the "Land of Ideas".

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