August 3, 2005 Greenpeace has unearthed two particularly disturbing patent applications from Monsanto Corporation that would make the corporate giant the sole owner of that famous Monsanto invention: the pig. The patent applications were published in February 2005 at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva. A Greenpeace researcher who monitors patent applications, Christoph Then, uncovered the fact that Monsanto is seeking patents not only on methods of breeding, but on actual breeding herds of pigs as well as the offspring that result. According to Then, "I couldn't believe this. I've been reviewing patents for 10 years and I had to read this three times. Monsanto isn't just seeking a patent for the method, they are seeking a patent on the actual pigs.”
There are more than 160 countries and territories mentioned where the patent is sought including Europe, the Russian Federation, Asia (India, China, Philippines) America (USA, Brazil, Mexico), Australia and New Zealand. WIPO itself can only receive applications, not grant patents. The applications are forwarded to regional patent offices.
The patents are based on simple procedures, but are incredibly broad in their claims.
Full details of the GreenPeace find can be found here.