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Indian Supreme Court Says Seeds, Plants and Animals Are Not Patentable

A VICTORY FOR THE PLANET

There has been a major victory for the planet, for biodiversity, for seeds, for farmers, for the rule of law in India’s Supreme Court with the court refusing to overrule a decision of the High Court that upholds article 3j of India’s Patent law , amended to implement the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights Agreement of the WTO.

Article 3(j) excludes from patentability “plants and animals in whole or in any part thereof other than microorganisns  but including seeds, varieties, and species, and essentially biological processes for production or propagation of plants and animals”.

This article is an implementation of article 27.3 b of TRIPs. While Monsanto brought patents on life into a trade treaty, the Indian government and governments of Brazil and Argentina introduced exclusion to patentability, as well as a suigeneris option for protection of plant varieties.

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