Big beer brands shouldn’t patent barley says WeMove.EU
By Ben Wodecki

WeMove.EU group has launched a petition at European Patent Office (EPO) to deny patent grants for regular bred plants and technology used in the process of beer making.
WeMove.EU claimed that the EPO has granted patents to both Heineken and Carlsberg for regularly bred barley, which it argues is “knowledge that’s been around for thousands of years”.

It added: “With the patent these transnational corporations own the barley from the seed to the pint of beer. Not only is it outrageous these greedy corporations want to own a tradition that has been around for thousands of years, but in granting the patent, the EPO is in breach of EU law. Not only, for every patent they approve, they get paid.”

The group claim that it will “claim barley back and take this chance to urge Member States to stop the EPO from breaching EU law”.

WeMove.EU say that brewing companies would profit three times over from patenting regur;ar barley, selling the seeds to farmers, then buying them back to turn them into beer for consumers, in what the group refer to as control “from the field to the pub”.

WeMove.EU also claim that the patent gives the right for companies to dominate the market, “to the detriment of farmers, breeders, other breweries and consumers”.

The group has filed a formal complaint at the EPO. In its response, the EPO revealed that the appeal procedure will commence in the autumn of 2018, which is the end of the prescribed one-year response period for a complaint.

The petition currently stands at almost 175,000 signatures.