Plant variety rights

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Symbiosis IP

The development of new plants and plant varieties with improved value is an important objective to address the pressures society is facing with an ever-increasing population. 

Plant variety rights are intellectual property rights and are different from the rights obtained via a patent.

Under European Law plant varieties are excluded from patent protection. In Europe, only technically modified plants (for example plants modified to enhance pathogen resistance, resistance to biotic stresses such as drought, or the enhancement of metabolite synthesis) can be protected via a patent.

In the absence of this technical modification, the generation of a new plant variety, can be protected via plant variety rights. 

Similar to the rights conferred by patent protection, plant variety rights allow you to prevent someone from producing or selling your plant variety. In the UK, plant variety rights are known as Plant Breeders’ Rights (PBR) and can be applied for via the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).

Historically, UK PBR could be obtained via the Community Plant Variety Rights Office (CPVO), however, since the exit of the UK from the European Union, separate protection of the plant variety in the UK and EU are now required. 

In order to market your plant variety in the UK, the new variety must be added to the UK’s national list. Applications can be made online via the online tool UPOV PRISMA. However, plant breeders or their successors in title not based in the UK, require an agent with a UK address to submit the application form. 

Symbiosis dives deep into the science and data and then gives an excellent assessment of the potential for the patent to be granted and the value of said patent.
IAM Patent 2022 client interview

What do we do?

We advise on all aspects of plant variety rights and PBR within the UK and EU, ensuring that PBR applications are comprehensive and technically accurate in order to provide an optimal scope of protection for our clients.

Who do we help?

Our clients include innovative companies in the UK and Europe and well as a strong network of overseas associates.

Got a question? Get in touch.