German parliament step closer on rejecting 98/44/EC.

Two recent decisions from the German Parliament move Germany a major Step closer to reject implementation of EU-Patents Directive 98/44/EC !!

On 1 December 2000 the second chamber of the German Parliament (Bundesrat), representing the 16 Länder (Counties) debated the implementation draft of 98/44 and "advised" for a re-negotiation of the directive on EU-level. In particular the Bundesrat is opposed to the possibility of patenting genes and has grave reservations on patenting plants and animals. The resolution is not legally binding, but a strong and unusual political signal, representing the oppinion of the 16 Counties.

(Earlier, last summer, the 16 health ministers of the Länder (counties), unanimoulsy rejected 98/44 and called for re-negotiation.)

On 4 December the Expert (Enquette) Commission of the first chamber of the parliament (Bundestag), adopted a position which is similar devastating to 98/44. It also calls for a re-negotiation, is strongly opposed to gene patenting and patents on plants and animals.

This position is an advice to the full Pariament. It can be expected that the German parliament will follow this advice and will NOT transpose the directive into national law, when they resume actiities next year.

In summary, all 3 legislative bodies of Germany have now issued statements opposing 98/44/EC:

The Government issued a statement calling for re-nagotiation (18 October 2000), but sends a draft transposition law to parliament.

The second chamber of Parliament (Bundesrat) debated this draft transposition law and argued for re-negotiation (1 December 2000).

The first chamber of Parliament (Bundestag) asked an Expert Commission (Enquette) for advice on the directive and this Commission (Parliamentarians and experts) calls for rejection and renegotiation of the directive (4 December 2000).

Date 13-12-2000

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