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.