Conventional breeding but also the use of new technical processes such as mutagenesis (including Genome Editing) are of great importance for the future development of strong and sustainable varieties. Thus, intellectual property rights in plant breeding should accommodate for both approaches and provide breeders with the choice of how they want to work in the future. Therefore, the principle of "Breeder's choice" is at the heart of the KWS IP Position, which was recently revised.
To reliably secure this freedom of choice in breeding, KWS has committed to review future patent filings very closely to ensure that conventional breeding options are still possible without the need to take licenses. In addition, KWS pursues a responsible strategy regarding patenting basic foods and animal feed.
In this context, KWS points out that it has narrowed the effect of a recently granted patent on digestibility in corn (EP3560330) in the sense of the above-mentioned aspects by means of "non-asserts" (a type of free license). More details including respective template agreements are available in the catalog section on the KWS "TraitWay" website.
KWS has been offering access to patented traits in Europe at fair conditions for some time already via KWS TraitWay and the industry licensing platforms ACLP for field crops and ILP for vegetables.
“KWS supports the development of more comprehensive and industry-wide solutions to facilitate access to patented traits through seamless technology transfer in plant breeding. We are convinced that innovation needs an open and transparent approach to technology and knowledge sharing to meet future challenges," says Claudia Hallebach, Head of Global Legal and IP at KWS.