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Food and Feed Safety (13-10-2005)

Plant variety rights: conference identifies obstacles to enforcement of rights

The conclusions to the Enforcement of Plant Variety Rights seminar, organised by the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO), in close co-operation with the Commission and breeders’ organizations are now available online. The seminar, which took place in Brussels on 4-5 October, was attended by over 200 intellectual property practitioners specialized in plant variety protection, and looked at the current problems and potential solutions with regard to enforcing plant variety rights. Among the problems discussed over the two days and included in the conclusions are:
  • Lack of harmonization between civil and penal law when it comes to enforcement actions in different Member States
  • Lack of expertise in plant variety rights enforcement, mainly due to limited experience of the competent national courts
  • High costs of legal actions to enforce plant variety rights
  • Refusal of national courts to accept CPVO Examination Offices’ technical reports
  • Obstacles breeders face in specific crop sectors
It was suggested at the seminar that EU breeders should make efficient use of the legislative tools at their disposal at EU level. EU legislation such as Regulation 2100/94 on Community plant variety rights, Community Customs Regulation 1383/2003 and the Enforcement Directive 2004/48 (once the directive has been transposed into national law) offer breeders tools to enforce their rights and act against infringements. It was also discussed whether attempts should be made to improve existing legislation for the breeders, such as appointing specific national courts for plant variety right infringement cases and improving the tools for breeders to collect reasonable remuneration for farm saved seed.

The CPVO intends to organise a further two seminars on regional enforcement in Poland and Spain in 2006.

For the agenda, speeches and further information on the seminar, see: