Plant variety rights and other plant-related IP protection
Produced in partnership with Frances Salisbury of Mewburn Ellis
Plant variety rights and other plant-related IP protection

The following Life Sciences practice note produced in partnership with Frances Salisbury of Mewburn Ellis provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Plant variety rights and other plant-related IP protection
  • Plant variety rights (PVRs)
  • Legal framework in the UK and EU
  • What can be protected
  • Term of protection
  • Application process
  • Denomination
  • Growing tests
  • Validity
  • Novelty
  • More...

Intellectual property (IP) protection is available for plant-related inventions through the patent system and through plant variety protection.

This Practice Note explains the IP protection available for individual plant varieties, known as plant variety rights (PVRs) or plant breeders’ rights. It covers the UK regime for the UK PVR and the EU regime for the Community plant variety right (CPVR). It explains the validity requirements for obtaining PVR protection, the tests for infringement and the compulsory licensing of PVRs. This Practice Note also discusses the patent protection available for plant-related inventions, such as groups of plants that share a common trait and plant protection products such as pesticides.

Plant variety rights (PVRs)

Legal framework in the UK and EU

In the UK, protection for a plant variety is available as a UK PVR granted under the Plant Varieties Act 1997 (PVA 1997), administered by the Plant Variety Rights Office (PVRO) which is a part of the Animal and Plant Health Agency.

In the EU, protection for a plant variety is available as a CPVR granted under Regulation (EC) 2100/94 (the Community Plant Variety Rights Regulation), administered by the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO). On 31 December 2020, the Community Plant Variety Rights Regulation ceased to apply in the UK and new CPVRs granted by the CPVO do not cover the UK. See the European Commission’s notice to stakeholders concerning

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