Public hearing on opposition against a patent on human sperm cells

Ovasort holds a patent on gender selection

On 15.05.2014 a public hearing will be held at the EPO in Munich. It is exactly two years since representatives of the organisation Testbiotech filed an opposition to a patent (EP1263521) held by Ovasort (UK). The patent covers human sperm cells selected for their gender intended for use in in-vitro fertilisation and the production of female offspring. The patent also covers uses in animal breeding and claims the production of non-human female embryos as an invention.

According to a first written statement, the examination division is of the opinion that the claims on human sperm cells are a violation of ethical boundaries in patent law and should therefore be revoked. However, the claims directed at animal breeding are likely to be maintained despite European Patent Laws that prohibit patents on the essentially biological breeding of plants and animals as well as on animal varieties. In May 2012, the European Parliament adopted a resolution against such patents in plant and animal breeding.

The public hearing will take place in Munich on 15 May 2014, starting at 9 a.m.,
in room 1656 in the Pschorrhöfe, Grasserstr. 2.

Contact: Christoph Then, Testbiotech,, Tel. + 4915154638040,

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