Plant breeders seek international rights

By |  May 19, 2015 0 Comments

At the 90th meeting of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) this coming October, plant breeders hope to move closer to establishing an International System of Cooperation (ISC) for plant breeders’ rights (PBR). UPOV is an intergovernmental organization located in Geneva, Switzerland.

The idea was presented to the UPOV Consultative Committee for consideration more than a year ago. It is the collaborative output of three associations: the International Seed Federation (ISF), CropLife International (CLI) and the International Community of Breeders of Asexually Reproduced Ornamental and Fruit Varieties (CIOPORA).

ISC would build on the current UPOV system by increasing its accessibility to plant breeders worldwide and helping them to overcome the obstacles they face in securing intellectual property rights. The big hurdles, members of ISF, CLI and CIOPORA said in a survey that deviations from national application procedures, multiple languages, cost and time were the main obstacles.

An ISC would let breeders file PBR applications in various markets through a simplified and unified procedure. The system is not supposed to replace local PBR laws. It should, however, ease filing and increase the number of PBR applications in most, if not all, countries.

The joint proposal envisions ISC as a means of consolidating the established national systems of PBR registration. With an electronic application form — currently being developed by UPOV — the new system will allow breeders to apply for PBR in multiple countries in the language of their choice.

Supporters say an ISC will enhance the accessibility of multiple PBR registrations, increase incentives for IP protection, and potentially encourage more investment in plant breeding and variety development.

Following the presentation of the ISC proposal to the UPOV Consultative Committee in March, the committee, recognizing the complexity of the matter and the need for further elaboration and consideration by the member states, asked the UPOV Office to prepare a written proposal for an ISC, including the cost estimation and the potential impact of an ISC on business.

Post a Comment