By Raul Mannise
Thanks to Shirley one of our fans on Facebook who sent me the information in German which served to investigate and bring you this article today about the actions of these companies that patented life in Europe.
In the European Union so far it seemed that morale was above business interests, but last year the beer giants Heineken and Carlsberg patented what was previously unthinkable in Europe.
What is a patent and why should not life be patented
The patent is a registration of an intellectual property on an invention, work, research or similar, giving exclusive rights to whoever patents it.
Companies like Heineken and Carlsberg can patent their processes to make beer, they can patent if they will modify the yeast and obtain their own strain, but they cannot, as they have done, for example, patent the barley that has been in European fields for millennia.
The patents, EP2384110 and EP2373154, were granted by the European Patent Office (EPO) in 2016. These patents include barley plants derived from conventional cultivation, their use in brewing beer and beer. obtained from this process.
It is quite clear that these patents violate patent law, where patents on conventional cultivation are prohibited. In fact, the EU Commission recently rectified that conventional cultivation, as well as the plants and animals obtained through its use, cannot and should not be patented.
To patent this barley is to violate the right of millions to cultivate and use it.
This is why a good group of activists, especially in Germany and Austria, have filed legal appeals to clarify and annul these patents.
“Now we need legal security. Carlsberg and Heineken are trying to improve their position in the market to the detriment of consumers, farmers and other breweries ”, says Erling Frederiksen of Friends of the Earth in Denmark (NOAH). "These patents are not based on actual inventions, but on intentional abuse of patent law. Therefore, they have to be revoked. "
These Heineken and Carlsberg patents are based on random mutations in the barley genome; that make these beans supposedly more optimal for making beer.
There is a third patent, EP2575433, which covers several characteristics of these barley plants created by traditional breeding. Organizations already have a plan in place to combat this new patent.
Despite the fact that European legislation prohibits patents on plant varieties and conventional breeding / cultivation, companies are willing to give the hunt in their attempt to take over barley as their own.
Let's hope they go back and this is not just the beginning and tomorrow we cannot even make bread at home without paying a patent to some company.
Brewery Patent Information:
- Patent EP 2373154 B1
- Patent EP 2 384 110 B1
- Letter to Carlsberg