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)