The Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO), the body that administers applications for European Community Plant Variety Rights, is in the process of becoming a paperless organisation. PFE has taken advantage of their online application filing system for some time.

Now, the CPVO has announced that it will soon cease issuing PVR grant certificates on paper. From Monday 23 April 2012, all grant certificates (plus decision notices and variety descriptions) will be available as electronic files with electronic signatures in the secure area of the CPVO website (the extranet). For an undefined transition period, the CPVO will also issue these documents in paper form in the normal manner, but at some future date, no paper forms will be issued except on specific request (which, we suspect, will attract an administration fee).

For our clients, PFE will download the grant certificates when they are issued and submit them electronically to breeders without charge. If breeders require a paper version, we will be happy to provide these without charge if we are in possession of the electronic document (it is not clear whether the CPVO will provide an electronic archive of grant certificates and related documents going back to 1995 – it would be around 100,000 documents, by our estimate, so a formidable task).

Applicants/PVR owners should also be able to access their own documents (and only their own documents) from the CPVO extranet if they have a log-in username and password. PFE can not obtain usernames and passwords for clients – application must be made directly to the CPVO. Please contact us if you would like advice on doing this.