January 2012


Horticulture Week has covered the Patent Box developments.

Graham will be at IPM Essen for all of next week. IPM is the biggest trade show for horticulture anywhere, and is the most valuable show in PFE’s annual calendar. It is a great opportunity to meet old and new friends, to talk plants and to see what is new for 2012 and 2013. It’s hard work, but great fun!

To arrange a meeting, contact us now. The diary is pretty full already!

We support our licensed grower clients extensively by providing information, images and "stories" for use in catalogues, labels and on websites. Our best licensees make good use of these to promote the varieties that they are growing, and we reward them by offering them the chance to trial new varieties as they come along.

Our friends at Globe Planter in France are a good example of a company that does a good job of promoting plants, both to their grower and retailer customers and also to the end user. Here is an excellent example of this, a webpage that promotes Euphorbia, including three varieties licensed by PFE (in French).

Long-time readers of this blog will know that Plants For Europe has been actively campaigning to get Plant Variety Rights included in the new “Patent Box” that the Government has planned to introduce. (For those that do not know, the Patent Box enables companies to pay a reduced rate of Corporation Tax – 10% instead of 20% to 27.5% – on profits derived from patents and certain other intellectual property, subject to conditions). We have been keen to see PVR included because the law prevents anyone from taking out a patent in a new plant variety and to exclude PVR would have been invidious.

We are absolutely delighted that the Government has now brought forward draft legislation to bring the Patent Box into law, effective from next year, and that they say that PVR will be included. However, whilst the guidance notes say that PVR are included (and one assumes that will be both UK PVR issued by the Plant Variety Rights Office (PVRO) and Community Plant Variety Rights issued by the Community Plant Varieties Office (CPVO)), we see no specific mention of PVR in the draft legislation – merely reference to the potential for Government to add to the list of included IP by Statutory Instrument. When will such an SI be brought forward?

We also notice that for “licensed-in” IP, there is a requirement for exclusivity, at least at national level. Our understanding is that a national exclusivity would be in conflict with EU competition/freedom of movement of goods legislation.

We shall be consulting on these matters and seeking clarity from Government.