Nemesia AmelieOnce the decision has been made to protect the new plant, PFE can act on your behalf to file the PVR application(s).

PVR applications involve a considerable amount of form filling, and familiarity with the system is a definite advantage. PFE has gained considerable experience of the PVR system in Europe, and can ensure that the application is valid and has the greatest chance of success. PFE will also assist in managing the provision of plant material for the official DUS testing, and will act as a conduit for information between the PVR authorities and the breeder. PFE can also assist with PVR appeals in the event that an application is refused.

Even if PFE is acting on your behalf, the PVR application will always be made in the name of the breeder, thereby ensuring that the breeder retains total control of ownership over the variety. PFE takes no share in the ownership of the variety. Although we are aware of companies that will purchase the rights to a new plant from the breeder for a fixed fee, we feel that this does not offer the best possible reward to the breeder or developer of the plant.

Of course, applying for PVR protection does result in a fee charged by the PVR administration authority. In the case of the CPVO, the body that administers European Union PVRs, €900 falls due at the time of first application. Additional fees of between €1160 and €2500 must be paid for each cycle of DUS testing – most ornamental species will be tested during just one growing cycle, but some genera, e.g. Lavandula, Rubus, Malus and Cercis, are tested over two or more cycles. Once the right has been granted, a fee of €300 per annum must be paid to the CPVO to maintain the right.

In general, the breeder will need to pay these fees. However, it may be possible to negotiate with one or more licensees for sponsorship of the PVR fees to be set against future royalties. This type of agreement is not common, and would probably be related to some sort of exclusivity arrangement.

In most cases, PVR is valid for 25 years from the date that it is granted (which can be up to two or three years after the application is initially filed). United States Plant Patent is valid for 20 years from the date of application, and employs a different system that does not call for DUS testing, but has more stringent requirements for detailed botanical description at the time of application. PFE will be happy to advise you with regard to the US market and US Plant Patent application and fees; in general, such advice would be given in conjunction with PFE’s subagent in the United States.

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