Saturday, December 24, 2005

The Enola Bean Patent Case

The ETC Group just released an update on a case of bio-patenting:

Background: Almost six years ago, ETC Group (then RAFI) denounced the Enola bean patent as "Mexican bean biopiracy" and demanded that the patent be legally challenged and revoked. We requested that FAO and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) investigate the patent as a likely violation of their 1994 Trust agreement that obliges them to keep designated crop germplasm in the public domain and off-limits to intellectual property claims.

It was five years ago that the Colombia-based International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT, a CGIAR center), with support from FAO, filed an official challenge of the now infamous Enola bean patent at the US-PTO in Washington.

Bean Biopiracy: The Enola bean patent case holds a special place in the "biopiracy hall of shame" because the owner of the patent, the president of a Colorado-based seed company, Larry Proctor, won his patent on a yellow bean variety of Mexican origin. US patent number 5,894,079 was issued April 13, 1999. (Proctor bought a bag of commercial beans in Mexico, planted them in Colorado [US], and did several years of selection.) Not long after, armed with both a US patent and plant breeders' rights certificate, Proctor charged that Mexican farmers were infringing his monopoly by selling yellow beans in the USA. Shipments of yellow beans were stopped at the Mexico/US border, and Mexican farmers lost lucrative markets. Proctor also filed lawsuits against seed companies and farmers in the USA, charging that they infringed his monopoly rights for selling or growing yellow beans from Mexico.

Not-So-Final Rejection: On April 14, 2005 the US-PTO released its "final rejection" - a 26-page decision in which the PTO examiner explains her decision to cancel or reject all of the patent's 64 claims. But wait-not so fast! The PTO bends over backwards to give the patent holder the last word. Proctor was given a six-month period to prepare and file a request to extend the re-examination period. On 14 October 2005 Proctor filed his request and won a 3-month reprieve. ETC Group learned today that the US-PTO has just issued another "final" rejection in response to Proctor's amendments. But, it's still not final! Proctor could file for one more extension - or take the case to a higher board of appeals.

posted by ryan griffis  # 1:07 PM


How did you find this? I can't find anything at the uspto site or the ETC site?

sorry i never responded... i forgot to update the email address for the blog comments.
anyway, the ETC releases are archived at their site under releases. not the easiest to track down. but here's the link just in case you couldn't find it.
Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home


June 2004   July 2004   August 2004   September 2004   October 2004   November 2004   December 2004   January 2005   February 2005   March 2005   April 2005   May 2005   June 2005   July 2005   August 2005   September 2005   October 2005   November 2005   December 2005   January 2006   February 2006   March 2006   April 2006   May 2006   June 2006   July 2006   August 2006   September 2006   October 2006   November 2006   December 2006   January 2007   February 2007   March 2007   April 2007   May 2007   June 2007   July 2007  

syndicate [atom]

preBlog archives

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?