The National Seed Association of India (NSAI) has welcomed the European decision to refuse grant of patents in respect of plants or animals exclusively obtained by means of an essential biological process.

The Administrative Council of the European Patent Office (EPO) voted for a change in the regulations of the European Patent Convention (EPC) in this direction.

“The EPO ruling gives clarity on product and further defines ‘the new variety’ developed through breeding, which is an essential biological process. The decision that it is not a subject matter of patent is a very important milestone in interpretation of IPR laws,” the National Seed Association of India has said.

“We congratulate the European Seed Association for leading this battle on behalf of the plant breeders and advocating for a solution to re-establish the balance between patents and plant breeders’ rights,” Kalyan Goswami, Executive Director of National Seed Association of India, has said.

“The European Seed Association (ESA) has been leading the way against an overly restrictive patent regime that denies farmers and breeders any rights or freedom in creating new varieties using natural or biological methods,” M Prabhakar Rao, President of the association, said.

This move validated the association’s stand on the issue, he pointed out in a statement on Friday.