CIOPORA will open its 56th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Toronto on April 24. This event will gather innovative breeders from the ornamental and fruit industries, as well as intellectual property (IP) experts, for a five-day agenda brimming with discussions and presentations on all aspects of current national and global systems of IP protection for plant innovations.
Monday: CIOPORA Academy and CIOPORA Board Meeting
Monday will begin with a workshop of the CIOPORA Academy, the educational arm of CIOPORA, will hold a small-group workshop focused on IP in horticulture led by experts from around the globe. Topics will include:
The Basics of Applying for Plant Patents
Trademark Law in the US
Novelty (Period of Grace) in PBR and Plant Patents
IP Enforcement in the US: Civil, Criminal and Customs Law
PBR and Trademarks in Mexico
Thirty students will participate in the workshop which will be led by the following IP experts:
Thomas Leidereiter, Green Rights, Germany
Dr. Gary Benzion, United States Patent and Trademark Office, USA
Laura Pitts, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, USA
Guy Birkenmeier, Baker & McKenzie, USA
Enriqueta Molina Macías, Santamarina y Steta, Mexico
On Monday afternoon the CIOPORA Board will host their annual AGM board meeting to discuss the administrative matters of the association.
Tuesday: Crop Section Meetings and Open Sessions Biotechnology and Patents
Tuesday, April 25, will begin with meetings of CIOPORA Crop Sections Fruit, Gypsophila and Cut Rose/IRBA.
Running in conjunction with the CS Meetings will be the North American Breeders Meeting. This meeting will be the first of its kind to gather breeders of vegetatively propagated ornamentals and fruits from the US, Canada and Mexico to discuss the challenges related to intellectual property protection faced by breeders in North America. Topics for the meeting will include:
Article 102b of the US Patent Act: Novelty and loss of right to Patent
The EDV Concept: How to bring mutants and GMO under the protection of the Initial Variety
The Advantages and Limitations of the US Plant Patent vs. Plant Variety Rights
The Asexual Reproduction of Seed Crops
In the afternoon, discussions will turn scientific during the Open Session on Patents followed by the Open Session on Biotechnology.
Wednesday: AGM Administrative and IP Part
The annual administrative meeting of CIOPORA Members will take place on the morning of Wednesday, April 26. Topics tackled during this meeting will include (but will not be limited to): voting on the annual CIOPORA budget, updates on the administrative staff and tasks, voting for the next CIOPORA president as well as the CIOPORA board, honoring CIOPORA members for their dedication to the association, approval of AGM 2018 location and date.
On Wednesday afternoon, thirteen experts from both inside and outside of CIOPORA membership will present during the AGM IP Part on Wednesday afternoon. Topics will include updates from UPOV and the CPVO, new member introductions, country updates, discussions on patents and more.
Wednesday will culminate with the annual CIOPORA Member AGM Dinner held at the CN Tower in downtown Toronto.
Thursday: Toronto Public Conference
The CIOPORA Public IP Conference will take place on Thursday, April 27 at the Radisson Admiral Hotel in Toronto and will be open to the public. The agenda will consist of 15 presentations and panel discussions on topics including New Plant Breeding Techniques and related challenges, North American market and trade trends in the fruit and ornamental industries, US Free Trade Agreements and their role in IP for plants, taxation of royalties and other hot-button topics in the horticulture industry.
Friday: Business Excursions
AGM Week will end outside of the conference room with two separate business excursions for fruit and ornamental members. Buses will take participants through the vineland region for tours of local operations, and the groups will join for two tracks of presentations at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre.