By creating modern, innovative plant varieties plant breeders are contributing significantly to one of the basic needs of society: enough healthy food that is produced at reasonable prices in an efficient and environment-friendly way. Plant breeding however, is a time-consuming and costly endeavour with a development time between 5 to 12 years and a re-investment of an average 15% of the annual turnover into R&D. Breeders therefore need strong and effective IP protection for their innovations.

Plant varieties are self-reproducing and therefore are easy to copy. While the respect of IP rights has increased throughout the value chain, infringements continue to happen, and infringers are also becoming more innovative, sophisticated and professional in their methods. An active dialogue between right holders and enforcement agencies is therefore crucial to enable recognition of infringing activities and goods.

To avoid infringing goods entering and circulating in the EU, customs officials and law enforcement authorities are daily confronted with a large number of consignments coming from all over the world and potentially infringing plant material.

The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), in collaboration with the CPVO, organised a webinar on this topic on 25 May 2021. The webinar featured speakers from the industry as well as Orsola Lamberti, Legal Advisor at the CPVO.


  • Pedro Tent Alonso (moderator) – Garrigues
  • Szonja Csörgö - Euroseeds
  • Micaela FILIPPO - Ciopora
  • Orsola LAMBERTI - Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO)

During the webinar, the speakers:

  • Provide general information about the European agricultural and vegetable seed industry as well as worldwide ornamental and fruit industries, including statistics and key information regarding the value created through plant breeding;
  • Give practical insights to facilitate the identification of counterfeit agricultural and vegetable seeds, ornamental and fruit imports into the EU, including case studies.

Watch the webinar on the EUIPO website