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Food and Feed Safety (30-05-2005)

European Community Accession to Convention for Protection of New Plant Varieties Agreed

The accession of the European Community (EC) to the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) was approved by the Agriculture and Fisheries Council today. The UPOV Convention aims to ensure a harmonised international system for the protection of plant varieties and encourage the development of new varieties of plants. Under the UPOV Convention, breeders with a distinctive plant variety that fulfils certain criteria can be granted an intellectual property right. The UPOV Convention was adopted in 1961, and has been revised 3 times, the most recent being in 1991. Accession to the UPOV Convention will allow the EC to fully benefit from the rights conferred by the Convention, and to be recognised as a full member of this international group with clear-cut obligations and rules when it comes to plant variety rights. EU citizens and enterprises will be able to benefit from the same access to plant variety protection as people and companies based in other members of the UPOV Convention. The EC will become a full UPOV Convention member one month after it has submitted its official accession request to the UPOV Convention Secretary-General in Geneva. For more information on EC protection of plant variety rights, see: For more information on the UPOV, see: