T 1242/06 (Tomatoes/STATE OF ISRAEL) of 4.4.2008

European Case Law Identifier: ECLI:EP:BA:2008:T124206.20080404
Date of decision: 04 April 2008
Case number: T 1242/06
Decision of the Enlarged Board of Appeal: G 0002/12
Application number: 00940724.8
IPC class: A01H 5/10
Language of proceedings: EN
Distribution: A
Download and more information:
Decision text in EN (PDF, 51.550K)
Documentation of the appeal procedure can be found in the Register
Bibliographic information is available in: EN
Versions: OJ | Unpublished v3 | Published | Published v2
Title of application: Method for breeding tomatoes having reduced water content and product of the method
Applicant name: State of Israel - Ministry of Agriculture
Opponent name: Unilever N.V.
Board: 3.3.04
Headnote: The following questions are referred to the Enlarged Board of Appeal for decision:
1. Does a non-microbiological process for the production of plants consisting of steps of crossing and selecting plants fall under the exclusion of Article 53(b) EPC only if these steps reflect and correspond to phenomena which could occur in nature without human intervention?
2. If question 1 is answered in the negative, does a non-microbiological process for the production of plants consisting of steps of crossing and selecting plants escape the exclusion of Article 53(b) EPC merely because it contains, as part of any of the steps of crossing and selection, an additional feature of a technical nature?
3. If question 2 is answered in the negative, what are the relevant criteria for distinguishing non-microbiological plant production processes excluded from patent protection under Article 53(b) EPC from non-excluded ones? In particular, is it relevant where the essence of the claimed invention lies and/or whether the additional feature of a technical nature contributes something to the claimed invention beyond a trivial level?
Relevant legal provisions:
European Patent Convention Art 53(b)
European Patent Convention 1973 Art 112(1)(a)
European Patent Convention R 26(5)
European Patent Convention 1973 R 23b(5)
Keywords: Exclusion of essentially biological processes for the production of plants - important point of law - referral of questions to the Enlarged Board of Appeal
Catchwords:

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Cited decisions:
G 0001/98
T 0320/87
T 0083/05
Citing decisions:
G 0002/07
G 0001/08
T 0083/05
T 1729/06
T 0915/10

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EPC Articles

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Offical Journal of the EPO

Case Law Book: I Patentability

Case Law Book: II Conditions to be met by an Application

Case Law of the Enlarged Board

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