b'CASPER VAN KEMPENWhen pirates arestealing your treasuresFIGHTING INFRINGEMENTS IN THE VEGETABLE SECTOR. BY: MARCEL BRUINSS uppose youre a vegetable seed company, and you are sus- ES: WHY WAS IT NECESSARY TO START THE AIB?pecting someone is infringing your intellectual propertyCVK:Integrated vegetable seed companies faced a significant rights. Proving the infringement is usually a headacheincrease in infringements of their IP rights in the early years and often the work of legal experts. Luckily theres one organ- of this century in Europe. In particular, the emergence of veg-ization that an assist you all the way: the Anti-Infringementetative reproduction in high value hybrid crops, besides the Bureau (AIB), based in Brussels, Belgium. The mission of AIBfrustration about the higher intensity of the more traditional is to prevent and fight infringements of the intellectual propertyreproduction of OP crops in certain countries, were seen by them rights of its members. In order to find out more about AIB andas threats that required action through an industry driven initi-its achievements, European Seed sat down with Casper vanative. In addition, the supply chains of the companies had really Kempen, the outgoing Managing Director of the AIB.gone global at that time, which increased the exposure and vul-nerability to IP infringements in faraway places. EUROPEAN SEED (ES): CASPER, CAN YOUTELL ME ABOUT YOUR CAREER? ES: WHAT ARE THE ESTIMATES ON THE YEARLY CASPER VAN KEMPEN (CVK):After my studies in RotterdamAMOUNT OF IP DAMAGE IN THE SEED SECTOR?and Reading (UK), I worked 10 years as an agricultural econo- CVK:As in other industries, we only see the tip of the iceberg. mist in the Caribbean, Africa and Asia, in rural infrastructureThe seed industry has so far not invested in an extensive study projects funded by the World Bank and Regional Developmentto get to an accurate estimate. It is important to do this, as it Banks. After a one-year time-out to take an MBA course at IMDwill strengthen the plea for more attention for our cause at the in Lausanne, I joined Sandoz Seeds, and was charged with thepolicy makers level and with law enforcement agencies. Some integration of an acquisition in flower seed in the U.S. Thereafternational seed associations, like in Italy, do engage in serious I moved back to Holland to manage the Zaadunie sales compa- annual studies, using a black box approach, giving a more accu-nies in Benelux and Scandinavia. In 1998 I left for Sint Maartenrate estimate. Based on reported cases, I estimate IP damage (Netherlands Antilles) to manage the islands largest privateat more than 5%, and I fear it might even hover around 10%. I company, active in building materials. After my return to theshould add that part of this damage is not noticed and felt by the Netherlands a few years later, I took up the corporate COO posi- individual breeding companies, so part of the damage should tion at Colgrave Seeds in the UK. After Colgraves acquisition byrather be read as non-realised potential turnover.and integration into Ball Seeds, I returned to the World Bank, and was seconded as MD of a pharmaceutical wholesale com- ES: WHAT HAVE BEEN THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE pany in Burkina Faso, Ivory coast, Mali and Niger. This was theAIB SO FAR?time I had my first (and intensive!) exposure to IP piracy andCVK:Looking at the EU, I think that we certainly progressed in counterfeit products. During my time as COO of Florensis (2006- Italy and Spain. In the latter country, through Geslive, which acts 2010), I coordinated the annual anti-infringement campaign inas inspection agency of the Spanish Seed Association ANOVE, flowers for a consortium of 10 breeders under Fleuroselect. Inplant raisers which engaged in illegal vegetative reproduction of 2010 I was asked to start up the activities for AIB, which hadtomato, were brought to justice and condemned to prison terms. been established the year before. This gave a clear signal to the plant raisers community that vegetative reproduction and the sale of beheaded plants (stubs) of PVP varieties is illegal. Through Geslive we also had people judged by the penal court whom we caught engaged in illegal reproduction of PVP-ed bean varieties. With other cases which are under trial in penal courts, this absolutely has a deterrent effect on any would be infringers.In Italy, we succeeded through a multi-police approach, where we mobilized three law enforcement agencies, with whom we have signed formal co-operation agreements. Over the years, these agencies carried out over 120 raids, resulting so far in 10 penal court cases, and quite a number of penal investigations ongoing. The awareness of IP and its enforcement has tremen-dously increased throughout the years both on the sides of the growers community as well as the law enforcers.In Morocco and Turkey, awareness for IP on vegetable seeds has increased in the growers community as well as on the government side. The first enforcement actions can now be expected in the near future.In other countries, AIB focussed on creating IP (PVP) aware-ness, and to help companies in taking steps fighting infringe-38IEUROPEAN SEEDIEUROPEAN-SEED.COM'