A three-day seminar on Enforcement of Plant Variety Rights in China took place from 30 November to 2 December 2020, writes Dr Audrey Gerber, AIPH Technical Advisor. The meeting was a framework for the training of Chinese Experts in the EU on the examination of applications for Plant Variety Rights and PVR technical training. It was organised jointly by IP Key China, the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO), the Development Centre of Science and Technology, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (DCST, MARA) and the National Forestry and Grassland Administration (PVPO, NFGA), P. R. China.
Promoting close collaboration between novelty protection organisations in Europe and China, the range of speakers highlighted how valuable PVR enforcement is for the full potential of intellectual property in horticulture to be realised.
A good and reliable PVR system relies on several processes, and, if these function well, it is very beneficial to agriculture and horticulture. In the seminar, it became clear that many Chinese growers in China do understand the system and are willing to grow protected varieties and pay royalties, however, not all of the essential procedures are in place yet to support this. China is reviewing its PVR systems and is committed to protecting PVR holders’ rights and strengthening its enforcement capacity. This review includes EDV and Farm Saved Seeds, with the hope of adoption in 2021. The description of some case studies illustrated that action could and will be taken against illegal production and trade.
The ornamental horticulture industry’s perspective was presented on behalf of AIPH by Mr Peter van der Wiejden. For the last 16 years, Peter has worked as the intellectual property manager at HilverdaFlorist B.V. a breeder and propagator in the Netherlands and has acquired extensive experience of PBR and enforcement. Thanks to this fruitful cooperation from Peter van der Weijden, AIPH made a clear statement of its position in the production chain, with an overview of the interests of the ornamental growers at stake in the PVR-field.
Novelty Protection Advisor to AIPH, Mia Buma, says, “The seminar brought forward an impressive collection of information and experience in the PVR-system from both China and the EU. It showed that China is taking a giant step forward in the PVR-system and its enforcement. It was a very good opportunity for all the relevant stakeholders, including authorities, science institutes and industry, to request attention for the interests and requirements of the different links in the horticultural and agricultural production chains.”