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Patenting glossary



 What is patenting    top

Patent Questions and Answers by EFFAB (ex FAIP)

The concept of "Patent": "A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is a product or a process that provides, in general, a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem.  In order to be patentable, the invention must fulfill certain conditions..." read more at the website of the World Intellectual property Organization.   

Relation between Patenting and Intellectual Property: Patenting is one of the different forms of Intellectual Property. The latter "allows people to own their creativity and innovation in the same way that they can own physical property. The owner of IP can control and be rewarded for its use, and this encourages further innovation and creativity to the benefit of us all." read more at the website of the UK Patent Office

General Overview of IP Protection Tools by the IPR Helpdesk. Go.

General Information Concerning Patents by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Go

IP protection in animal breeding: "The field of animal breeding and genetics, especially as it relates to farm animals and livestock, encompasses a broad range of species, traits and processes. A simple laundry list of those items that might directly affect our field and require IP protection include, but are not limited to, genes and markers for genetic improvement, statistical methods for genetic improvement, transgenic and cloned animals, methods to measure traits (e.g. use of ultrasonic probes), electronic methods to identify animals, computer software and other written materials. Allied fields like nutrition and veterinary medicine will also have methods or processes such as vaccines, feed supplements or specific treatments." read the entire article by Rothschild M.F., Plastow G., Newman S.: Patenting in animal breeding and genetics. (2004) In: WAAP Book of the Year 2003 - A Review on Developments and Research in Livestock Systems, Eds: A. Rosati ,A. Tewolde and C. Mosconi, 269-278. 


Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) by WTO (World Trade Organization) Full text or Article 27.3b on traditional knowledge, biodiversity or Progress on Article 27.3b



 Practical issues    top

Complete patent guide by the IPR Helpdesk. All you need to know about patents. Go.

Introduction to patent terminology by STN International. Go.

Training material on patents by STN International. Go.


 Legal aspects    top

Legislative Initiatives in European patent law by the European Patent Office

Read the contents of the WIPO Open Forum on the draft Substantive Patent Law Treaty (SPLT) Geneva, 1-3 March 2006

Workshop Proceedings: EU directive for biotechnological inventions for farm animal production Organized by the Farm Animal Industrial Platform (FAIP). 29 May 1998, Veterinary and Agricultural University Copenhagen, Denmark

Biodiversity Rights Legislation by GRAIN (INGO) 


 Patenting in the EU    top


Biotechnology in European patents - threat or promise? by the European Patent Office


Legislative Initiatives in European patent law by the European Patent Office

Consultation and public hearing on future patent policy in Europe: The public hearing will be held on 12 July 2006 (registration until 5 June 2006). Read more.

Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament - Development and implications of patent law in the field of biotechnology and genetic engineering  (2005) Read the full text.

Life sciences and biotechnology – A Strategy for Europe (2002) Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions

Community Patent: "The European Council held in Lisbon in March 2000 called for the creation of a Community patent system to address existing shortcomings in the legal protection for inventions, thus giving an incentive for investments in research and development and contributing to the competitiveness of the economy as a whole." Read more.

Biotechnology and intellectual property (1999) Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, Rapporteur: Mr Wolfgang Wodarg. Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly of 9 July 1999.

According to Art. 4 of the Directive 98/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 1998 on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions, "The following shall not be patentable:

(a) plant and animal varieties;

(b) essentially biological processes for the production of plants or animals.

2. Inventions which concern plants or animals shall be patentable if the technical feasibility of the invention is not confined to a particular plant or animal variety.

3. Paragraph 1(b) shall be without prejudice to the patentability of inventions which concern a microbiological or other technical process or a product obtained by means of such a process."

Read the full text of the Directive.



 The EAAP Cattle Network forum on patenting    top

The Cattle Network of the European Association for Animal Production organized, in the beginning of 2006, an e-mail conference on the topic of Patenting in Animal Breeding. The e-mail conference was launched on 10 January 2006 and closed on 17 February 2006. Sixty-two registered participants from all over the world attended the online discussion, which was moderated by Prof. Georgios Banos of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Read all about the e-mail conference. 


 Publications related to patenting and IP     top

Books - Articles - Other resources


The Future Control Of Food. A Guide to International Negotiations and Rules on Intellectual Property, Biodiversity and Food Security (2008) edited by Geoff Tansey and Tasmin Rajotte. earthscan, IDRC and QIAP.


Intellectual Property Management in Health and Agricultural Innovation: A Handbook of Best Practices (2007) edited by A. Krattiger, R. T. Mahoney, L. Nelsen, J. A. Thomson, A. B. Bennett, K. Satyanarayana, G. D. Graff, C. Fernandez, S. P. Kowalski. MIHR & PIPRA


Marker-assisted selection. Current status and future perspectives in crops, livestock, forestry and fish (2007) edited by  E. Guimarães, J. Ruane, B. Scherf, A. Sonnino, J. Dargie


Access to and Legal Protection of Aquaculture Genetic Resources: Norwegian Perspectives (2006) Rosendal, G. Kristin, Ingrid Olesen, Hans B. Bentsen, Morten Walløe Tvedt and Martin Bryde. Journal of World Intellectual Property, Vol 9, No 4, 2006, pp. 392-412.

Intellectual Property Rights in Animal Breeding and Genetics (2004) Edited by M Rothschild, Iowa State University, Iowa, USA; S Newman, PIC USA, Franklin, Kentucky, USA. CABI Publishing.

Patenting DNA sequences (polynucleotides) and scope of protection in the European Union (2004) Bostyn, Sven J. R. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.

Intellectual Property Rights in Agricultural Biotechnology, 2nd Edition (2003) Edited by F H Erbisch, Michigan State University, East Lansing, USA; K M Maredia, Michigan State University, East Lansing, USA. CABI Publishing.

Patenting Agriculture (2001) Barton, John H, Berger, Peter. Issues in Science and Technology.

Agriculture and Intellectual Property Rights: Economic, Institutional and Implementation Issues in Biotechnology (2000) Edited by V Santaniello, University of Rome "Tor Vergata", Italy; R E Evenson, Yale University, USA; D Zilberman, University of California at Berkeley, USA; G A Carlson, North Carolina State University, USA. CABI Publishing.


Encyclopedia of Ethical, Legal and Policy Issues in Biotechnology (2000) Edited by Thomas H. Murray, Maxwell J. Mehlman. WILEY BIOTECHNOLOGY ENCYCLOPEDIAS.

Animal Biotechnology and Ethics (1998) Holland, Alan J.; Johnson, Andrew (Eds.). Chapman & Hall, UK. 

Intellectual Property Rights and Research Tools in Molecular Biology (1997) Summary of a Workshop Held at the National Academy of Sciences, February 15–16, 1996. National Research Council - NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C.


“Method for Reducing the Saturated Fatty Acid Content of Milk Fat, Products Obtained and Applications Thereof” , applied for by S.A. Corman and Daniel Dalemans, May 7, 2009.


Fridtjof Nansen Institute Various publications


Scope of Process Patents in Farm Animal Production (2007) Magnus Finckenhagen, FNI Report 6/2007. Lysaker, FNI, 2007, 82 p.

Patent protection in the field of animal breeding (2007) Tvedt, Morten Walløe, Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section A - Animal Sciences , Vol 57, No 3, 2007, pp. 105-120.

Can you shrinkwrap a cow? Protections available for the intellectual property of the animal breeding industry (2007) E. R. Ogden, K. Weigel. Animal Genetics. Volume 38, Issue 6, Page 647-654, December 2007.  


Patenting Genetic Resources: Striving for the Right Balance (2007) Alison L. Hoare and Richard G. Tarasofsky. Clatham House


Patenting scenario in agriculture: Indian perspective (2006) Rekha Mittal and Gian Singh. Current Science, Vol. 90, No 3.


Policy Implications from Applying Patent Law to Animal Breeding (2006) Morten Walløe Tvedt, Fridtjof Nansen Institute. TAIEX Workshop, January 2006


Explaining compliance with Intellectual Property committments: The case of Agrobiodiversity (2006) Regine Andersen. 47th Annual Convention of the International Studies Association, San Diego, March 22-25, 2006. 


Conservation of genes and culture: historical and contemporary issues (2006) J Hodges. Poultry Science, Vol 85, Issue 2, 200-209.  


Intellectual Property Rights in a Changing Political Environment: Perspectives on the Types and Administration of Protection (2005) William Lesser. AgBioForum, 8(2&3): 64-72.


Patenting in animal breeding and genetics (2004) Rothschild M.F., Plastow G., Newman S. In: WAAP Book of the Year 2003 - A Review on Developments and Research in Livestock Systems, Eds: A. Rosati ,A. Tewolde and C. Mosconi, 269-278.


Patenting of Genetic Innovations in Animal Breeding (2002) M.F. Rothschild. Lecture at the Cair in Economics of Innovation and Science Policy at the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development of the Iowa State University.   


The European Patent Directive on Biotechnology (1998) Leskien, D. Biotechnology and Development Monitor, No. 36, p. 16-19.

Patenting of Plants and Animals: The Impacts on the Canadian Agri-Food Sector (1995) W. Lesser. Cornell University.

SHAPING GENES: Ethics, Law and Science of Using New Genetic Technology in Medicine and Agriculture (1990) Darryl R. J. Macer, Ph.D. Eubios Ethics Institute

Life Form Patenting and Family-Scale Agriculture: Implications and Recommendations Kim Leval, Jon Bailey. Rural Research and Analysis Program, Center for Rural Affairs, US.


Animal Patenting and the Politics of Biotechnology in the 1980s Joe Conley, Program in the History of Science, Princeton University.   



 Other resources


Rights to Animal Genetic Resources NCCR Workshop presentations, 27-28/11/2008 Switzerland


The Ethics of Patenting Animal Genetic Inventions (2007) M. Temmerman, presented at the annual NCCR PhD Workshop - 12 April 2007


Susanne Gura (2007): Livestock Genetics Companies. Concentration and proprietary strategies of an emerging power in the global food economy. League for Pastoral Peoples and Endogenous Livestock Development, Ober-Ramstadt, Germany


Opportunities and Challenges in Agricultural Biotechnology: The Decade Ahead Report by the USDA Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture, July 2006


Biotechnology in Animal Agriculture: Status and Current Issues CRS Report. T. Cowan, G. S. Becker, March 2006


Conference on "Livestock biodiversity, indigenous knowledge and intellectual property rights" organized by the League for Pastoral Peoples (Bellagio, Italy, 27 March - 2 April 2006). Read the presentations.

Farm Animal Genetic Resources. Safeguarding National Assets for Food Security and Trade (2004) Ilse Köhler-Rollefson. GTZ, FAO, CTA.


 Patenting glossary    top


Glossary of Terms by the World Intellectual Property Organization


United States Patent and Trademark Office Glossary Glossary of legal terms and acronyms related to patents, copyrights and trademarks.


Glossary of Terms by the UK Patent Office


Understanding "Patentese"—A Patent Glossary by Arnold B. Silverman and George K. Stacey


Glossary of Patent Terms by Delphion



PSAS is supported by:

 ICAR  - International Committee for Animal Recording


 EAAP  - European Association for Animal Production


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