Companies in different sectors are contributing to a more sustainable society through innovative solutions. Plants can play an important role in this, for instance as a sustainable alternative for certain raw materials, such as fuels and building materials, but also in the transition to a diet with more vegetable proteins. In the pursuit of a higher sustainability also the production of the plants can contribute, for example by using energy- and water-efficient cultivation systems, but also by improving the properties of the plants via plant breeding.
In the transition to a more sustainable agricultural sector, we will have to produce more with less. Less land use leaves us more space for nature, but even so important is the use of fewer pesticides and fertilizers. In the context of its Green Deal and Farm to Fork plans, the EU has expressed the ambition to significantly reduce the use of pesticides and CO2 emissions with the aim of a climate-neutral economy by 2050. At the same time, crops must be able to endure the effects of climate change, such as fluctuating temperatures, increasing drought or rain showers, salinization and a higher disease pressure.
A European study published in 2022, commissioned by the CPVO and the EUIPO, shows that the use of plant varieties that have been developed over the past 25 years has resulted in an increase in food production (in agriculture, fruit and vegetables) that has enabled us to feed 123 million people. This increase can be attributed to the stimulating effect of the European Plant Breeders' Rights system. See: https://cpvo.europa.eu/en/news-and-events/news/cpvo-euipo-study-shows-positive-impact-cpvr-system-eu-economy-environment
AOMB is confident that many more innovative and more sustainable plant varieties will be brought to the market in the coming years. It is important that the intellectual property of these varieties is protected by plant breeders' rights, to enable further investments. AOMB has a great deal of in-house knowledge about the possibilities to protect your varieties in the EU and in the rest of the world. For this we make use of an extensive network of professional IP service providers.
In order to obtain plant breeders rights on a new variety, a DUS-test is carried out to determine the characteristics of the variety. Sustainable characteristics will not always be tested for in the examination. DUS-characteristics must be independent of environmental influences and be objectively determinable. For that reason, certain (use-value) characteristics such as yield are not suitable as DUS characteristic. Sometimes characteristics, such as a disease resistance, are suitable, but a reliable test method is first required before the characteristic can be determined. Moreover, a new type of trait will only be included in the DUS-test if this is deemed necessary for the distinguishability of the new variety(s) within the crop. The technical protocols thus follow the practice. The more sustainable varieties are introduced, the sooner this will be reflected in the variety testing for plant breeders rights.
If you are interested in the possibilities to protect your plant varieties, our PBR-experts are happy to provide you with more information.