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Parliamentary question - E-006024/2018Parliamentary question

Patents on brewing barley

Question for written answer E-006024-18
to the Commission
Rule 130
Pascal Arimont (PPE)

In many European countries — particularly Belgium — beer brewing is part of a centuries-old tradition. In 2016, beer culture in Belgium was even added to the Unesco Cultural Heritage list.

At the same time, the European Patent Office (EPO) issued three patents for brewing barley (EP2384110, EP2373154 and EP2575433) to two companies in 2016, patents based on conventional varieties. Under Article 4(1) of Directive 98/44/EC, such patents are generally prohibited.

How, specifically, would the EU want the provisions in Directive 98/44/EC to be implemented and enforced in the aforementioned instances?

What is the EU doing to protect seeds from being patented, so as to protect biodiversity in Europe and continue to safeguard free access to a broad array of plant varieties in the future?

Last updated: 12 December 2018
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