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The President of the CPVO emphasized the importance of plant variety protection during the recently concluded Seminar "Protection and Valorization of New Plant Varieties" held at the University Club of the University of Calabria on July 3, 2023. The event, organized by Francesca Buono of the University of Calabria-ARIIS, brought together industry experts to discuss innovation in the European Community Plant Variety System and the legal framework of plant intellectual property rights.

The President shared insights on the role of the CPVO, the European agency responsible for managing the plant variety rights system within the European Union. This system provides breeders of new plant varieties with intellectual property rights that stimulate research and innovation, aiming to offer farmers high-performing varieties adapted to local environmental conditions and market demands.

During the seminar, the President also highlighted the significance of the European SME Fund, an initiative of the European Commission implemented by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). This fund, available until December 8, 2023, provides vouchers for intellectual property protection to small and medium-sized enterprises within the EU.

For the first time, the SME Fund also supports obtaining protection from the Community Plant Variety Office, aiming to stimulate innovation, development, and investment in the plant breeding sector. Along with IP strategy consulting services worth €1,350 (IP scan), small and medium-sized enterprises can apply for a 50% refund of the application fees for plant variety protection.

The seminar also featured Dr. Giorgio Miclet from the University of Udine, who shared his experiences in protecting and valorizing plant intellectual property rights within a university technology transfer unit (UTT). This highlighted the vital role that universities play in innovation, knowledge transfer, and technology dissemination to producers and farmers in the field of plant varieties.

Overall, the seminar provided a valuable platform for industry experts, academics, and stakeholders to exchange insights, discuss challenges and opportunities, and foster collaboration in the protection and promotion of new plant varieties. The CPVO's commitment to ensuring intellectual property rights and promoting innovation in the plant breeding industry remains crucial for the advancement of agriculture and the competitiveness of the European market.