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M&C in the news: Proposed EU ban on gene-edited crop patents prompts dispute

Great to see Marks & Clerk featured in a recent Financial Times article discussing the evolving landscape of gene-edited crops in Europe. The article highlights the significant regulatory shifts and the intricate intellectual property debates surrounding this crucial sector.

We had the pleasure of being featured alongside our client, Cian Duggan, co-founder of UK biotech start-up Resurrect Bio. Cian provided invaluable insights into the importance of patents in protecting agritech innovations, particularly for start-ups, and ensuring continued investment in R&D.

At Marks & Clerk, we are dedicated to navigating the complexities of patent law to support our clients in the agritech industry. Andrea Williams, partner and head of our agritech group, emphasised the potential impact of the European Parliament's proposal to ban patents on genetically edited crops, a move that could stifle innovation and create legal uncertainties.

We invite you to read the full article to learn more about the regulatory changes, the challenges faced by small businesses, and the critical role of intellectual property in fostering innovation in agriculture, below. 

The European Commission proposal in 2023 said Europe was falling behind other parts of the world in gene editing and should relax restrictions on the technology to catch up, explains Andrea Williams, a partner and European patent attorney at law firm Marks & Clerk. “The European parliament was like, ‘we agree’,” she says. But there was a catch. The parliament said that cutting back restrictions and regulations would have to include banning patents on genetically edited crops.


newsroom, agritech, patents, yes