Updates on Plant Variety Protection

Issue #26, 13 December 2016


1. Editorial


This issue of the Updates highlights the APBREBES report on the UPOV Autumn session. An IP Watch report focuses on the interrelations between UPOV and ITPGRFA, which were the topic of a public Symposium organised by UPOV. The Recommendations of the Global Consultation on Farmers’ Rights are reproduced in this issue of the Updates, completing a report on the event in the Updates issue #25 . Finally, three publications on plant variety protection legislation are featured.


2. APBREBES Report on UPOV’s 2016 Autumn Session


UPOV member states and observers gathered in Geneva between the 24th and 28th of October for UPOV's Autumn session. The interested public could attend two events:


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3. IP Watch: Panel Explores Relation Between Plant Breeders’ Convention and Plant Treaty


When countries belong to several international instruments, some aspects of those instruments may run contradictory to one another. A symposium held recently by the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) sought to explore the interrelations between the convention and the international treaty on plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. Farmers’ rights lie at the intersection of the two treaties and while some find the treaties complementary, some others view them as contradictory on farmers’ rights.


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4. Recommendations of the Global Consultation on Farmers’ Rights, held 27th to 30th September in Indonesia


Participants at the Global Consultation on Farmers’ Rights in Bali, Indonesia, 27–30 September 2016, shared views, experiences and examples of best practices related to the implementation of Farmers' Rights as addressed in the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (‘the International Treaty’). They also identified a range of issues that may affect the realization of Farmers’ Rights, and discussed a draft list of recommendations to the Governing Body in this regard.


The following constitutes the Co-chairs’ summary of recommendations to the Governing Body:


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5. Publications


GRAIN (2016) New trade deals legalise corporate theft


Since 2001, GRAIN has been tracking how so-called free trade agreements (FTAs), negotiated largely in secret, outside the World Trade Organisation (WTO) are being used to go beyond existing international standards on intellectual property rights regarding life forms. In this report, GRAIN provides an update on the FTAs that are legalising corporate theft and threatening farmers’ ability to save, produce and exchange seeds around the world.


Read the report


Shalini Bhutani (2016): Intellectual Property Rights Policy Fails to Address Farmers’ Rights and Needs


India had already made a significant policy shift towards a pro-intellectual property (IP) position in the seed sector two decades ago, when it became a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 1995. Many existing laws were amended,


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Claire H. Luby, Irwin L. Goldman (2016): Freeing Crop Genetics through the Open Source Seed Initiative


For millennia, seeds have been freely available to use for farming and plant breeding without restriction. Within the past century, however, intellectual property rights (IPRs) have threatened this tradition. In response, a movement has emerged to counter the trend toward increasing consolidation of control and ownership of plant germplasm. One effort, the Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI, www.osseeds.org), aims to ensure access to crop genetic resources by embracing an open source mechanism that fosters exchange and innovation among farmers, plant breeders, and seed companies.


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Upcoming Events


Monday, 3 April to Wednesday, 5 April (morning) Technical Committee


Wednesday, 5 April (afternoon) Working Group on a Possible International System of Cooperation


Thursday, 6 April (morning) Consultative Committee


Thursday, 6 April (afternoon) Council (extraordinary session)




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Feedback & Contact


Susanne Gura, Coordinator


Association for Plant Breeding for the Benefit of Society (APBREBES)


Office: Burghofstr. 116, 53229 Bonn, Germany


Ph: 0049 228 948 0670


Mob: 0049 177 669 1400


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