b'Celebrating 25 Years of CPVOPRESIDENT MARTIN EKVAD LOOKS BACK AND AHEAD. BY: MARCEL BRUINST he Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) is an agency of the European Union, located in Angers, France. Its task is to administer the EU system of plant variety protection. The agency was created to encourage the creation of new plant varieties in the EU, through the provision of better intellectual property protection for plant breeders. The CPVO manages the largest regional system of plant variety rights, based on the 1991 Act of the UPOV Convention, in the world. Since the creation of the CPVO in 1995, the office has received over 68,000 appli-cationsof which it granted over 53,000with over 28,000 titles still currently in force. As the CPVO is celebrating its 25th anniversary, it was a good moment for European Seed to sit down with CPVO President Martin Ekvad.EUROPEAN SEED (ES): MARTIN, THE COMMUNITY PLANT VARIETY OFFICE IS NOW 25 YEARS IN EXISTENCE. HOW HAVE THE DEVELOPMENTS BEEN?MARTIN EKVAD (ME):The past 25 years have been an amazing journey! We feel privileged to contribute to the develop-ment of a fascinating sector, working with breeders and farmers who are passionate about new plant varieties, with experts from national public authorities and with innovative leaders from the industry. But the CPVO is above all a suc-cess story for all plant breeders who areMartin Ekvadgranted, with one single application, a Community Plant Variety Right (CPVR) that protects them everywhere in theToday, there are almost 30,000 CPVRthe natural choice to plant breeders look-European Union. Let us not forget that,in force and the CPVO granted more thaning for plant variety protection in the EU.at the beginning of the 1990s, breeders3,000 titles in one calendar year for the had to file individual applications in everyfirst time ever in 2019with almost halfES: SO, IT IS A VERY GOOD European country which provided forof those being for ornamentals (46,6%),RUNNING SYSTEM, AND OTHERS protection and where they wanted pro- more than a quarter for agriculturalWISH TO COPY THAT. DO YOU tection.crops (27,6%) and the rest for vegetablesCARRY OUT ANY OUTREACH?There were huge expectations from(18,7%) and fruits (6%). ME:One of the key success factors of the industry at the time the CPVO wasI would draw two conclusions outan organisation like the CPVO lies in its established in 1995 and, after six months,of this. First, through the creation of aability to work hand in hand with EU the CPVO had already received over 3,000uniform and harmonized system in 1995,and national authorities, and to remain applications. That number dropped byequally applicable in all EU Member States,open and constructive with a wide range half in 1996 and has increased year afterlegal certainty was improved and barri- of stakeholders from the private sector. year since then to exceed 3,500 applica- ers to entry within the internal marketWe also cooperate with public authorities tions in 2018 and 2019.reduced. Second, the CPVO has becomefrom outside the EU. 32IEUROPEAN SEEDIEUROPEAN-SEED.COM'