In the midst of accelerating negotiations, many breeders are keen on learning about the destiny of their Community Plant Variety Right (CPVR) titles in the UK after Brexit. While the final details of the Draft Agreement on the withdrawal of the UK and Northern Ireland from the EU are expected to be announced tomorrow on March 23, the text of the Draft offers some insights into the future of CPVR in the post-EU UK.
Title IV of the Draft Withdrawal Agreement is entirely dedicated to the subject of Intellectual Property (IP) and provides a few rather title-holder friendly provisions. According to Article 50, the Community Intellectual Property Rights, including trade marks, designs, and CPVR, registered or granted before the end of the transition period will become comparable registered and enforceable IP rights in the UK without any re-examination. As announced in the press statement by Michel Barnier on March 19, the transition period during which “the UK will no longer participate in the decision-making process of the EU” will begin at 11 pm GMT on March 29, 2019, the date and time of the official UK withdrawal from the EU, and end on December 31, 2020.
Article 50 (c) of the Draft Agreement further specifies in regard of CPVR titles granted pursuant to Council Regulation (EC) No 2100/94, that the holders of such titles will be recognized as holders of Plant Variety Rights (PVR) for the same plant varieties under the UK national PVR regime. Registrations of such titles in the UK will be carried out free of charge by the UK PVR authority based on the data provided by CPVO with no administrative action or any UK-based correspondence address required of title holders. The term of protection will be at least equal to the remaining duration of the title of the corresponding CPVR.
CIOPORA is currently working on a detailed analysis of the Draft Agreement and will circulate the document among its members in the nearest future.