The Council of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) held its 51st ordinary session on October 26, 2017.
The Council welcomed Bosnia and Herzegovina as the 75th member of UPOV. Bosnia and Herzegovina deposited its instrument of accession to the 1991 Act of the UPOV Convention on October 10, 2017, and will become bound by the 1991 Act on November 10, 2017. The UPOV Convention now covers 94 States.
The Council adopted an FAQ on how the UPOV system of plant variety protection contributes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Council agreed the following actions concerning interrelations with the ITPGRFA: (i) to review the FAQ on the interrelations between the UPOV Convention and the ITPGRFA (see http://www.upov.int/about/en/faq.html#QR10); and (ii) exchange of experience and information on the implementation of the UPOV Convention and the ITPGRFA, with the involvement of stakeholders.
The Council approved the Program and Budget for the 2018-2019 Biennium, including the maximum ceiling of expenditure in the regular budget of 6,940,000 Swiss francs compared to the 20162017 budget of 6,823,000 Swiss francs (1.7% increase) and an increase in the number of staff posts from 11 to 12.
The Council agreed a program for use of the Russian language in UPOV, including a full resourcing plan. The program includes:
- provision of interpretation services in the Russian language at UPOV sessions in Geneva, to be financed by an increase in the number of units of contribution by the Russian Federation;
- translation of key UPOV materials into Russian (e.g. key documents in the UPOV Collection, UPOV Distance Learning Courses and standard UPOV presentation materials);
- Russian-speaking professional at the Office of the Union, financially supported by the Russian Federation;
- participation by Russian-speaking members of the Union in the UPOV PBR Application Tool (Electronic Application Form) (see http://www.upov.int/upoveaf/en/index.html) and introduction of Russian as a navigation language; and
- development of a training center hosted by a relevant institute in the Russian Federation, to be funded by interested members of the Union.
The Council took a positive decision on the conformity of the “Plant Varieties Protection Order” (Law) of Brunei Darussalam with the provisions of the 1991 Act of the UPOV Convention, which allows Brunei Darussalam to deposit its instrument of accession to the 1991 Act.
The Council took a positive decision on the conformity of the “Draft Law for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants” (“Draft Law”) of Guatemala with the provisions of the 1991 Act of the UPOV Convention, which allows Guatemala once the Draft Law is adopted with no changes and the Law is in force, to deposit its instrument of accession to the 1991 Act.
The Council took a positive decision on the conformity of the “Draft Law on New Plant Variety Protection” (“Draft Law”) of Myanmar with the provisions of the 1991 Act of the UPOV Convention, which allows Myanmar once the Draft Law is adopted with no changes and the Law is in force, to deposit its instrument of accession to the 1991.
The Council extended the appointment of the Vice Secretary-General from December 1, 2018, until November 30, 2021.
The Council elected, in each case for a term of three years ending with the fifty-fourth ordinary session of the Council, in 2020:
- (a) Ms. Cheryl Turnbull (United Kingdom) Chairperson of the Technical Working Party for Agricultural Crops (TWA)
- (b) Mr. Christophe Chevalier (France) Chairperson of the Technical Working Party on Automation and Computer Programs (TWC)
- (c) Mr. Jean Maison (European Union) Chairperson of the Technical Working Party for Fruit Crops (TWF)
- (d) Mr. Henk de Greef (Netherlands) Chairperson of the Technical Working Party for Ornamental Plants and Forest Trees (TWO)
- (e) Ms. Romana Bravi (Italy) Chairperson of the Technical Working Party for Vegetables (TWV)
- (f) Mr. Nik Hulse (Australia) Chairperson of the Working Group on Biochemical and Molecular Techniques and DNA-Profiling in Particular (BMT)
The Council adopted revised versions of the following documents: UPOV/INF/16 Exchangeable Software UPOV/INF/22 Software and Equipment Used by Members of the Union UPOV/INF-EXN/11 List of UPOV/INF-EXN Documents and Latest Issue Dates All adopted documents will be published in the UPOV Collection.
Plant Variety Protection Statistics
The number of applications for plant variety protection increased from 15,017 in 2015 to 16,455 in 2016 (9.6 percent increase).
The number of titles granted increased from 12,409 in 2015 to 12,550 in 2016 (1.1 percent increase).
The total of 117,427 titles in force in 2016 represented a 4.6 percent increase on figures for 2015 (112,215).
The following graph indicates trends in applications filed and titles granted since 1985. Information is also provided on the 10 members of the Union receiving the largest number of applications in 2007, 2015 and 2016 and an analysis of applications by country of residence of breeders for the same years:
Cooperation in the Examination of New Plant Varieties
In 2016, the number of plant genera and species for which there were agreements between members of the Union for cooperation in the examination of distinctness, uniformity and stability totaled 1,971.
UPOV is an intergovernmental organization based in Geneva, with 75 members, covering 94 States. The purpose of UPOV is to provide and promote an effective system of plant variety protection, with the aim of encouraging the development of new varieties of plants, for the benefit of society. The members of UPOV are: African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI), Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, European Union, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, México, Morocco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam.