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Deal or No-Deal: Post-Brexit Plant Breeders' Rights Scenarios. CIOPORA Analysis

February 19, 2019 – In view of the upcoming (and unstoppable?) Brexit, CPVO has published an announcement regarding the future of the Community Plant Variety Rights (CPVR) in the UK. The announcement reads that in the case of a no-deal scenario, “in order to ensure that protection if afforded in the UK for varieties which have been granted Community plant variety right as from 29 January 2019, a new application to the competent UK authority must be made.”

Photo credit: Photo by Adi Ulici on Unsplash

This announcement is based on a prior statement by the UK Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA), according to which “all varieties with a Community plant variety right granted by 29 January 2019 will continue to be protected in the UK by giving them rights under UK legislation. No action will be required by right holders.”

This means that a CPVR title granted before January 29, 2019, will be transformed automatically into an equal UK title without any further action required from title holders. For the CPVR titles issued on and after January 29, 2019, applicants will have to submit a new application to the competent UK authority using the same priority date and DUS test. This means that moving forward in order to acquire protection both in the EU and the UK, breeders will have to file two applications in accordance with the respective procedures.

Due to the current lack of clarity surrounding Brexit, the exact details of this policy and its implementation, such as e.g. situation with fees, remain unclear. CIOPORA expects that in the following weeks the authorities will provide further instructions.

Your Guide to Brexit by CIOPORA

In case you feel confused by the latest Brexit topsy-turvy, here is a CIOPORA summary of both a Deal and a No-Deal Scenarios. Please note that this guide is based on the currently known parties’ positions and on the Withdrawal Agreement (agreed by the parties but currently “on hold”). All points of the analysis may be subjects to change in the course of the following weeks. Regardless of the final outcome (deal or a no-deal scenario), all CPVR titles in force will remain valid in the EU, irrespective of the title-holder’s country of origin and the office where the technical examination was conducted.

For the Brexit-related CPVO announcements, please visit this link.

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