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Guidelines for Examination

 
 
5.4.1
Plant varieties 

The term "plant variety" is defined in Rule 26(4). A patent is not to be granted if the claimed subject-matter is directed to a specific plant variety or specific plant varieties. However, if the invention concerns plants or animals and if the technical feasibility of the invention is not confined to a particular plant or animal variety, the invention is patentable (see G-II, 5.2).

A claimed plant grouping is not excluded from patentability under Art. 53(b) if it does not meet the definition of a plant variety set out in Rule 26(4). The method of the plant's production, be it by recombinant gene technology or by a classical plant breeding process, is irrelevant for considering this issue (see T 1854/07).

When a claim to a process for the production of a plant variety is examined, Art. 64(2) is not to be taken into consideration (see G 1/98). Hence, a process claim for the production of a plant variety (or plant varieties) is not a priori excluded from patentability merely because the resulting product constitutes or may constitute a plant variety.