Patents for plant varieties represent a specific form of industrial property rights recognized in different countries of the world with the aim of encouraging the development of new varieties, improving the quality of agricultural and ornamental plant products.
A plant variety is a plant grouping within a single botanical taxon of the lowest known rank which meets the following requirements:
- Novelty: a plant variety is “new” if, at the filing date of the application, the plant reproduction or propagation material, or a harvested product of the variety, has not been marketed for over a year on the national territory or for more than four years in any foreign country extended to six years for trees and vines.
- Distinctness: a plant variety is distinct when it can be clearly differentiated from all other existing varieties
- Homogeneity: a plant variety is homogeneous when it is sufficiently homogeneous in the expression of the characteristics included in the examination for distinctness, as well as any others used for the description of the variety
- Stability: a plant variety is stable when, following a series of propagations or multiplications, there are no modifications in the pertinent and relevant characteristics
A patent application for a new plant variety can be filed with the Chambers of Commerce or at UIBM, and has a duration ranging from 20 to 30 years.
Plant varieties can be protected by filing a patent application in individual nations or by filing a European Community application.
The protection system of plant varieties of the European Community, based on the principles of the UPOV Convention (International Convention for the protection of plant varieties) in the version of the Acts of 1991, allows for protection within the whole territory of the European Community.
MP has within its structure, qualified mandatories specialized in biology that are available to clients for assisting them in the filing procedure of plant varieties.