International convention for the protection of new varieties of plants. Convention UPOV (1961), amended in Geneva (1972, 1978 and 1991)
- Type: Convention
- Date of signature: 02/12/1961
- Place of signature: Paris, France
- Depositary: Secretary-General of the United Nations
- Date of entry into force: 10/08/1968
What is it about?
This Convention aims to protect plant varieties via sui generis rights. State parties to the Convention are required to grant persons who bred, or discovered and developed a plant variety exclusive rights regarding production, reproduction (multiplication), sale, marketing, exporting, importing or stocking. Such protection is offered to all nationals and residents of a State party as well as to legal entities having their registered offices within the territory of a State party. The principle of national treatment is applicable in this regard. The rights established by this Convention do not extend to acts done privately and for non-commercial purposes, or to acts done for experimental purposes, nor to acts done for the purpose of breeding other varieties. No State party may restrict the free exercise of a breeder's right for reasons other than public interest and only in exchange for fair remuneration. Any breeder, who has filed an application for the protection of a variety in one of the State parties, enjoys for the purpose of filing an application for the grant of a breeder's right for the same variety with the authority of any other State party, the right of priority for a period of twelve months.
Why is it relevant?
The present Convention protects the creation of new varieties of plants, which is essential to quantitatively and qualititatively improve food production. By adhering to the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), a State commits to protect breeders under a foundation of recognized and accepted principles.
The International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants was revised on 10 November 1972, on 23 October 1978 and 19 March 1991. Intergovernmental organizations, dealing with the protection of the rights of vegetable species breeders, may become a party to the present Convention. The Convention creates an intergovernmental organization with international legal personality, the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants, which is headquartered in Geneva and composed of a Council and a Bureau.