Establishment of a clearing house by the IPI

The bill on the revision of patent law submitted for consultation proposes establishing a clearing house at the IPI. This should enable breeders to find out quickly and early on whether a variety that they want to use in breeding is affected by a patent.

In broad terms, the clearing house will work as follows:

  • The breeder informs the clearing house (the IPI) of the varieties that it wants to work with in future.
  • The clearing house makes this information available to all interested patent owners. The patent owners then have 90 days to inform the clearing house if these varieties are affected by a patent.
  • The clearing house forwards the response from the patent owner to the breeder. Using the patent publication number, the breeder can find more information, for example on the term of protection of the patent, and then decide if it wants to use the variety or if it would rather opt for a similar one that is not affected by a patent.
  • If the breeder decides to use a variety affected by a patent, it will enter into a licence agreement with the patent owner in due course. As a result, the breeder can market the newly bred variety, which also has the patented characteristic of the breeding material – without violating the law.


If the clearing house does not receive a response within 90 days, the breeder is free to include the parent variety in its breeding programme and market the newly bred variety too – even if this variety also has the patented characteristic of the parent variety. The breeder does not need a licence to do so because the patent owner has not responded and therefore has not been transparent.


If the patent owner is unable to respond within the time limit through no fault on its part, e.g. due to force majeure or incapacity to act as a result of an accident, a safety net is provided as follows. In the event of a dispute, the judge will draw up a suitable licence agreement so that the breeder can market its new variety and the patent owner is not unlawfully disadvantaged.

Breeders will not be obliged to use the services of the clearing house. However, it gives breeders a guarantee that they can also market the new varieties that they have bred. At the same time, it also supports patent owners in regard to voluntary licensing.