Community Plant Variety Rights

Community Plant Variety Rights are treated similarly to EU trade marks and Community designs: the holder of a granted CPVR will become the holder of a plant variety right in the UK for the same plant variety.

Any pending CPVR applications that are not granted by the end of the transition period will not, as things stand, be automatically extended to cover the UK. As such, any breeders wanting coverage in the UK will need to make a separate application for a UK PVR to be examined under UK legislation. The UK application must be filed with the Plant Variety Rights Office (PVRO) and will be subject to the usual criteria – that is, the variety must be new and must also pass the DUS (distinct, uniform and stable) testing.  Following the transition period, breeders wishing to market their new varieties in both the EU and the UK will need to separately apply for listing in the EU Common Catalogue and the UK National Listing. In terms of certification, the guidance discusses that the UK would apply for its certification processes to be considered as a “third country recognised by the EU as equivalent for seed certification”.

Accordingly, it would be wise for rights holders to review their current filing strategy and consider concurrently filing for CPVR and UK PVRs in the future.

If you have any questions regarding the impact of Brexit on your intellectual property rights, please contact your usual Marks & Clerk advisor or, alternatively, you can direct your question to the chair of our Brexit committee, Graham Burnett-Hall.

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