Plant breeders’ right
For plant breeding
As humans we are able to manipulate the growth of plants, often in the case of agricultural products and horticultural products. We can even generate new breeds and species. We call this plant breeding. Some examples include: a tomato that grows in salty soil, breeding a new colour of a particular breed of flowers, achieve immunity to a fungus, or breed a species that requires less water or light.
The selection and manipulation of plants or animals takes time and effort. If such effort result in a positive outcome, it should be protected to recover the investment. That performance is covered by the ZPW (Seeds and Planting Materials Act) 2006), the UPOV Convention and EU Regulations 2100/94 and 873/2004. In the Netherlands the Board for Plant Varieties is responsible for (1) granting a plant breeders’ right and the admission of (2) agricultural varieties, (3) forestry crops and (4) vegetable varieties; see also the Netherlands Varieties Register (search for a crop name or variety name).
A plant breeders’ right allows you to prohibit other parties from using your invention or to permit the use of your invention through licensing, so that other parties benefit from your efforts and you receive compensation for your efforts. The plant breeders’ right satisfies the urgent need to protect the position of the breeder of a new plant breed. To a certain extent, the plant breeders’ right is comparable with a patent. In addition, it also contains rules regarding plant identification and variety denominations, so that trademark law and trade name law also play a role.
Plant breeders’ law contains rules on the protection of the result of plant breeding. It is sometimes referred to as “flower law”, but it can also be applied to vegetables, grains or (fruit) trees.
If you are a breeder or stakeholder, Gravendeel Advocaten can assist you with combating infringements on your plant breeders’ rights, with drawing up licences and with collecting royalties.