A heartfelt cry: Things go wrong with patent legislation

Aad van der Knaap, KP Holland at BloomingTheFuture’s  conference ‘Floriculture on the move’ - photo:Blooming Breeders

Aad van der Knaap, KP Holland at BloomingTheFuture’s conference ‘Floriculture on the move’ – photo:Blooming Breeders

“Things go wrong when patent legislation, which was originally designed for the technology sector, is allowed to be applied to our sector. Our horticulture sector works with natural genetic material that has been available to us for centuries and which every breeder uses”, warned Aad van der Knaap, Managing Director of KP Holland at the yesterday held BloomingTheFuture’s conference ‘Floriculture on the move’ organised by Dutch Blooming Breeders foundation. The theme of the conference had a much wider scope. However, Aad van der Knaap was given the possibility to share his heartfelt cry about nowadays’ developments with a wide audience.
Inundated by a flood of patents
“What we are now facing is a reality in which we will soon be inundated with a flood of patents on genetic properties and even on manifestations”, he continued. “For small-scale breeders, this will mean being confronted with extra licenses for patent holders. It will also mean that breeders will be forbidden to use protected genetic material for their own breeding programmes. Both developments will result in an assault on the plant breeding sector, increased costs for growers, and a huge impediment to the development of starting material’, warned van der Knaap.
There is still hope
“But, there is still hope: It starts with examining our common interests. If all of us in the sector protest loudly enough, the lawmakers will have to respond as well. I hereby express the wish that we start working together today to get the ball rolling towards correcting this dangerous situation. Together, we could initiate a move to ensure a strong, healthy and innovative horticultural sector in the Netherlands – not only now but in 2025 as well.”
KP Holland both breeds and grows Spathiphyllum, Kalanchoe and Curcuma.