Patents can be obtained for any new and non-obvious product or process, providing the invention does not fall into one of a limited number of specific exclusions from patentability. At the European Patent Office inventions that are considered to be “plant or animal varieties” or “essentially biological processes for the production of plants or animals” are excluded from patentability. This guidance note briefly explains when this exclusion bites and whether this should be of concern for life science companies.

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