Subject: Re-examination of US Patent #5,894,074 and its reissue patent application 09/773,303
Dear Judge Rogan,
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the membership-based organic business association representing all sectors of the organic industry throughout North America.OTA urges you and your examiners to give the utmost attention and deliberation to the re-examination of US Patent #5,894,079 on a field bean cultivar named "Enola." The patent claims on the yellow bean fail to meet the statutory requirements of novelty and non-obviousness, and ignore prior art. The patent covers a bean variety of Mexican origin that is clearly based on the knowledge and resources of farmers and indigenous people. OTA respectfully urges you to cancel the patent and all of its claims.
As this re-examination could set a far-reaching precedent, this is an especially important issue for organic farmers.Organic farmers often rely on less well known plant varieties for genetic traits that may be of particular value in ecological production management systems such as organic agriculture.OTA urges you and your examiners to consider the negative implications for the organic industry of allowing this patent.