Title: Enlarged Board‌ of Appeal: New Pending Referral (G ⁤1/13)


The Enlarged Board of Appeal⁤ (EBA) is a key body within the European Patent Office (EPO) responsible for ensuring the uniform application of the European Patent Convention (EPC). It is the highest ⁣judicial ​instance ‌at the EPO and plays a crucial role in maintaining legal certainty for patent⁢ applications and decisions.

One of the most recent developments within the EBA is the pending referral‍ G 1/13, which has⁢ garnered significant attention within the patent community. ​This referral involves a ⁤crucial legal issue that has the potential to impact the interpretation and application of the EPC. In this article, we will explore the ⁢background of the pending⁤ referral G 1/13, its​ implications, and what it means for patent applicants and holders.

Background of G 1/13 Referral

The referral G 1/13 involves the​ question of the interpretation of Article 53(b) of the EPC, which deals with the patentability ​of plants obtained⁤ by essentially biological processes. The issue arose in the context‍ of a patent application for a tomato plant derived from conventional breeding methods.

The EPO’s Opposition Division initially revoked the patent on the grounds that ⁤the patented plant was obtained ⁤using essentially ⁤biological ⁢processes, which were excluded from patentability under Article 53(b) of the EPC. ⁤However, the EPO’s Technical⁣ Board of Appeal overturned this decision, leading to the referral of the case to the EBA.

Implications ‌of G 1/13 Referral

The⁣ pending‌ referral G 1/13 has significant implications for the patentability of plants derived from essentially biological processes. If the EBA confirms the decision of ‍the Technical⁣ Board of Appeal, it could have wide-ranging effects ‌on the patent landscape for plant-related inventions.

The interpretation of Article 53(b) of the EPC is crucial for determining the scope of patent protection for plants and agricultural innovations. A ruling ⁤in favor of allowing patents for plants obtained from essentially biological​ processes could incentivize further investment in plant breeding and biotechnology.

On the other hand, a decision upholding the exclusion of such plants from patentability could limit the ability of ​companies to protect their plant-related inventions, ⁤potentially impacting innovation in the agricultural sector.

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