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New US Farm Bill extends PVPA to Asexually Reproduced Plant Varieties

December 12, Washington, D.C. - the long-anticipated $867 billion US Farm Bill (Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018) has been passed by the US Congress. The law provides for a broad set of measures for agriculture and beyond, including a major amendment to the US Plant Variety Protection Act (PVPA), which will henceforth extend the US Plant Variety Protection to asexually reproduced plant varieties.

It is an important step, specifically in respect of Essentially Derived Varieties - the concept that is absent from the US Plant Patent provisions. Once breeders in the US are able to protect their novelties by PVP titles, the varieties essentially derived from their protected varieties will fall under the scope of their right. The commercialization of such EDVs will only be possible with authorization of the title holder of the initial variety.

The bill will be presented for the President's signature in the course of this week.

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