A new European study highlighting the impact of the Community Plant Variety Rights system (CPVR) on the EU economy and the environment was presented on 28 April 2022 in Angers, France, where the Community plant variety Office (CPVO) has its seat.

Key findings of the study include:

  • The CPVR system contributes to lower annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agriculture and horticulture by 62 million tons per year. Furthermore, water use in agriculture and horticulture is reduced by more than 14 billion m3.
  • In absence of the CPVR system, the production of arable crops in the EU would be 6.4% lower, production of fruit would be 2.6% lower, production of vegetables 4.7% lower, and finally, the output of ornamentals would be 15.1% lower.
  • Without the added production attributable to CPVR-protected crops, the EU’s trade position with the rest of the world would worsen and EU consumers would face higher food prices. The additional contribution to GDP generated by CPVR-protected crops amounts to 13 billion EUR.
  • CPVR-protected crops generate higher employment in the EU agriculture. The arable crops sector employs 25 000 additional workers as a result, the horticulture sector 19 500, and the ornamentals sector 45 000 additional workers, for a total direct employment gain of almost 90 000 jobs.
  • Many of the companies protecting their innovations with CPVRs are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). These small companies (including physical persons who hold CPVRs) account for more than 90% of the registrants of CPVRs and hold 60% of all CPVRs currently in force.

“Impact of the CPVR system on the European Union economy and the environment” is the first study of its kind to assess in a holistic way the impact of the CPVR system in the European Union. The study is co-authored by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) through the European Observatory on Infringements on Intellectual Property Rights and the CPVO. The full study is available in English and the executive summary is available in all 24 official EU languages.

The public release of the study took place at the CPVO policy conference called “Plant Variety Protection: the path towards more sustainability, innovation and growth in the European Union”.

At the launch event, Mr. Christian Archambeau, Executive Director of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) said: “Community Plant Variety Rights, managed by the CPVO, are one of the three unitary IP rights we have at this moment in the European Union. The other two are EU trade marks and Registered Community Designs, which are managed by the EUIPO. All three are important tools to improve sustainability, foster innovation and encourage growth. This new European study, jointly published by the EUIPO and the CPVO, shows how the CPVR system not only contributes to the EU economy, but also to the EU´s environmental objectives.”

Mr. Francesco Mattina, President of the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO), added: “Today’s study shows that innovation in the breeding sector, combined with plant variety protection, is extremely important for the European society as a whole. It confirms that the Community Plant Variety Rights system acts as a virtuous circle, providing the right incentive for investments in R&I from companies of all sizes, including an extremely large number of Breeding SMEs.”

“The study also shows that the CPVR system, by guaranteeing a fair level of intellectual property protection to plant breeders, allows breeders to reap the benefits of their work and encourages them to keep innovating in order to address key societal challenges in the fields of sustainability, food production, growth and employment”, he concluded.

The launch event that took place during the CPVO policy conference, labeled as an official event of the French Presidency of the Council of the EU, was also web-streamed live on the website of the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) and followed by several hundreds of online participants from all over Europe. The recordings will be made available in the coming days on the CPVO website. 

The video recordings of the policy seminar and the study are available on a dedicated CPVO webpage. The study in English and the executive summary in French and English can be downloaded in PDF below. The executive summary is also available in all official EU languages on the EUIPO Observatory webpage

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Full study: "Impact of the Community Plant Variety Rights system on the EU economy and the environment
Executive summary: "Impact of the Community Plant Variety Rights system on the EU economy and the environment