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20 February 2019Europe

CPVO issues guidance on plant rights in no-deal Brexit

The EU’s Community Plants Variety Office (CPVO) has issued an information notice advising that owners of EU Community plant variety rights (CPVR) issued after January 29, 2019 will need to re-apply for equivalent UK rights in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The CPVO is the EU body responsible for managing CPVRs, which are IP rights that protect new plant varieties throughout the EU.

In the statement, the CPVO said that it had been informed by the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) that, if the EU and UK fail to reach a deal by March 29, then “no action will be required by rights holders” with respect to CPVRs granted before January 29.

For CPVRs granted after this date, however, rights holders will need to file a new application with UK authorities, the CPVO said.

In a statement sent to LSIPR, DEFRA said that “where EU rights have been applied for, but not granted before exit, the Animal and Plant Health Agency will accept an application for UK rights” under the same terms as the CPVO application.

“Rights granted by CPVO between 29 January and 29 March 2019 will be treated in same way”, DEFRA added.

The statement continued: “Other than, this, the normal process for UK plant breeders’ rights will apply.”

If the two parties do reach an agreement before the UK’s exit from the EU, then “the content of the deal will determine the consequences for applicants and holders of CPVRs and UK rights”, the CPVO said.

Last month, the CPVO clarified that all CPVRs granted under Article 11(1) of Regulation (EC) No 2100/94 would remain valid in the EU post-Brexit, “regardless of the origin of the breeder or the location of the Examination Offices” which carry out technical examinations on behalf of the CPVO.

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