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Secretary General’s Presentation on EDV: Draft UPOV EXN to Accommodate Global Breeders' Requests

In conclusion of the 2nd UPOV Working Group Meeting on Essentially Derived Varieties (EDV), where CIOPORA’s Dr Edgar Krieger spoke on behalf of the global breeder organizations, the UPOV Office was entrusted with drafting the UPOV Explanatory Notes on EDV in accordance with the breeders’ top priorities.

Geneva/Hamburg, February 4 – In an unprecedented act of unity, the alliance of global breeder organizations, including CIOPORA, ISF, CropLife International, AFSTA, APSA, Euroseeds and SAA, with support from AIPH, presented UPOV with a joint statement on their expectations for revised Explanatory Notes on Essentially Derived Varieties in the 2nd meeting of the UPOV Working Group on EDV. The meeting was concluded on the positive note for the breeders’ joint efforts. Following several questions from the Working Group members, the UPOV Office was entrusted with drafting the EXN in accordance with the top priorities outlined by the breeders.

Speaking on behalf of the breeder organizations, CIOPORA Secretary General Dr Edgar Krieger emphasized it is of the utmost importance for breeders that predominant derivation is affirmed in the revised UPOV EXN as the key requirement for EDV. The EXN should establish that predominant derivation requires a higher level of genetic conformity than typically obtained by crossing and selection with an Initial Variety (IV). Clarification of the EDV status of new varieties developed by means of monoparental derivation, such as mutations, new breeding technologies and genetic engineering, and multi-parental derivation, such as recurrent backcrossing, would provide legal certainty to breeders as to what varieties qualify as essentially derived and how essential derivation can be established in practice.

On the subject of differences and conformity between an EDV and its IV, the new EXN should not limit the number of differences to one or very few, as is the case with the current EXN version, and should recognize that, depending on the breeding method, differences may also occur in the essential characteristics.

Finally, in breeders’ opinion, the holder of a Plant Variety Right should be in charge of monitoring for EDVs, derived from their protected variety, on the market. Given the lack of essential provisions in the 2017 EXN on EDV, the revised EXN should include guidance on the roles, accountabilities, conditions, and procedures relating to EDV, to ensure consistent application of EDV principle globally.

According to breeders, if the revised EXN on EDV addresses the priorities represented by the breeder alliance on EDV, it would help to fulfil the fundamental purpose of the EDV principle in the Act 1991 of UPOV by providing effective protection to a breeder who develops the Initial Variety by elaborate means of crossing and selection. Furthermore, a sufficiently broad EDV principle is required to account for the rise of New Breeding Technologies that enable both single and multiple modification of a PVR-protected Initial Variety in one act of derivation and in a short period of time.

The breeder alliance on EDV is the largest cross-sectoral taskforce in the history of UPOV. The organizations of the alliance represent interests of thousands of companies, research institutes and universities active in the area of R&D, breeding, production and marketing of agricultural and horticultural varieties.


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