Brexit and Plant Breeder’s Rights! What now?

Posted On 06 Oct 2016
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atmosphere_breeding_seed_taANGERS, France: Martin Ekvad outlines what the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) foresees as the likely implications of Brexit for plant breeders, both British and from other countries.

For the United Kingdom to leave the European Union it has to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. This will allow the UK to start the formal and legal process of leaving the EU. Article 50 places a 2-year time limit on the leave negotiations, unless the European Council and the Member States unanimously decide to extend this period.

The exact process of leaving the EU is uncertain, as Article 50, which was introduced in the Treaty of the EU in 2009,  has never been used.

The British Prime Minister, Ms Theresa May, has indicated that she will not invoke Article  50 before the end of 2016 and the media are speculating that it may even take longer.

For the plant breeding industry, it is important to get assurance that titles granted before Brexit will still be valid in the UK following Brexit. The question of whether titles granted by the CPVO could be valid in the UK after Brexit, and possible conditions for such a scheme, is also frequently put to the CPVO. CPVO President Martin Ekvad said, “These and other questions will be subject to negotiations between the UK and the EU.”

Ekvad believes that it is important that a user-friendly solution is found which will not add to unnecessary administrative work for EU breeders seeking protection in the UK, and UK breeders seeking protection at EU level.

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