February 2007


The GB Non-Native Species Secretariat (who knew?) is conducting a public consultation on its new invasive non-native species framework strategy. There are two long documents to read on their website which can be found by clicking here, as well as details of how to respond.

Potentially, any new legislation resulting from this consultation could have an impact on importers of plant material to the UK, including breeders and licensees of new plant varieties. We recommend that you take the time to read and respond to the documents.

We wish to apologise to anyone who found strange things when they visited this site on February 19th.

www.plantsforeurope.com was subject to a hack attack which replaced the front page with malicious information. The duration of the attack was no more than five hours. We have, together with our website hosting provider, taken steps to prevent a recurrence of this issue. No confidential data is stored on the web server, and so no confidential information was accessible by the hackers.

The European Union is currently considering legislation that would set EU-wide minimum penalties for pirating and counterfeiting, including prison sentences and substantial fines (see here for BBC News coverage).

Heavier penalties for infringement of intellectual property rights, including PVR, can only help rights owners, but must be coupled with effective policing and enforcement. By employing an agent, plant breeders can improve the effectiveness of the policing of their rights, as agents act as a conduit for information and can be the breeder’s "eyes and ears" on the world. Furthermore, an agent acting for a number of breeders and representing many plants can carry more clout and respect with growers than an individual breeder acting alone.

Related news article: Peter Catt targets rights abuse (Horticulture Week)

Graham will be at the Salon du Végétal exhibition in Angers, France for the afternoon of Wednesday 21 February and the morning of Thursday 22 February. If you will be at the show and would like to meet with him, please contact us.

The CPVO has launched an online database of case law related to EU Plant Variety Rights. It can be found by clicking here. The database is in English only and features a search function.

The CPVO appears keen to stress that this is a work-in-progress that is still in its infancy. However, I am sure that this will grow into something that will be very useful for anyone who owns or needs to defend a EU PVR.

Anyone planning to visit (or make a delivery to) the PFE offices should be aware that Chillies Lane in High Hurstwood is to be closed for three weeks from February 12. Therefore, vehicles travelling from the north towards PFE will be diverted.

We will be happy to give detailed directions that avoid the road closure to anyone visiting here during this time.

 

UPDATE: we have been advised by the local authority that the works will now have an extended duration of six week and so will not be completed until around March 28.

NEW UPDATE: we have now ben told that the works will not be extended after all and should be completed by March 3. A second phase of works will result in another closure of Chillies Lane in the summer – we will pass on the dates of that closure as soon as we have them.

FURTHER UPDATE: the road remains closed as of 7 March. We understand that it will re-open on 10 March, but it seems that nothing is certain!