|Final Decision Expected in Neem Biopiracy Case|
March 07, 2005
Final Decision Expected in Neem Biopiracy Case
On March 8th and 9th the European Patent Office will conduct an Oral Proceeding to examine the Appeal of its earlier decision to revoke a patent on a fungicidal product derived from seeds of the Neem, a tree indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. The revocation of the patent followed a legal challenge mounted by the organization of renowned Indian environmentalist Vandana Shiva, Magda Aelvoet, then MEP, representing the Greens in the European Parliament, and the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements. Their joint Legal Opposition claimed that the fungicidal properties of the Neem tree had been public knowledge in India for many centuries and that this patent exemplified how international law was being misused to transfer biological wealth from the South into the hands of a few corporations, scientists, and countries of the North. The EPO Opposition Division ruled in May of 2000 that the product claimed by the would-be proprietors—the United States of America and the multinational chemical corporation W.R. Grace—was not “novel” and lacked an “inventive step,” two of the criteria for patentability.” The upcoming decision by the EPO Technical Appeals Board is expected to settle this ten-year battle in the first legal challenge to a biopiracy patent.
INVITATION to a PRESS CONFERENCE
At the conclusion of the Neem Patent Appeal Hearing
Wednesday, March 9th, at 12:30
At the Schweisfurth Stiftung by the Schloss Nymphenburg Südliches Schlossrondell 1 in Munich
Representatives of the three organizations that filed the Legal Opposition to the Neem patent will attend the Appeal hearing and inform about its outcome and significance:
Further analysis of the case and background about the current state of the biopiracy patents and the legal framework will be added by:
The representatives of the Opponent organizations will speak in English; the invited experts will use German. All will be available for interviews and statements following the Press Conference.
The Schweisfurth Stiftung will offer an organic lunch. For this reason, they request members of the press to signal their participation to Christa Thomas at 089-179 59510, who can also provide directions to the Schweisfurth Stiftung.
The Oral Proceeding of the Technical Appeals Board in the Neem Case begins on Tuesday, March 8th at 9 a.m. in Room 103 of the main building of the European Patent Office at Erhardt Strasse 27 in Munich. It is open to the public, who are requested to assemble in front of Room 103, 10 minutes prior to the opening of proceedings. Room 115 may be used as a waiting room prior to this time.
For further information or to arrange interviews, contact:
Through March 9th: 00 32 475-660-330
After this time, contact the offices of the Opponents:
Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology: + 91/11-26561868, -26968077, 26535422; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.navdanya.org
The Greens/European Free Alliance in the European Parliament: +32 2 284-1692;
E-mail email@example.com; Web Site www.greens-efa.org
IFOAM: +49 228 926-5016; E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Web Site www.ifoam.org
|© IFOAM - International Federation of Organic Agriculture|