States which have ratified the 1991 UPOV Convention offer a minimum 20-year duration of protection; for trees and vines, the duration is 25 years. Countries can therefore deviate positively from this. The EU offers 25 years’ protection, and 30 years for trees, vines, potatoes, bulbs, woody perennials and asparagus.
Does any further obligation apply after obtaining a plant variety right?
Yes: first, annual maintenance fees must be paid in time. The authority granting the plant variety right may also require plant material to be submitted, at any time after granting, as evidence of the variety’s continued existence. In the case of an EU plant variety right, any accredited testing station may require plant material from the relevant crop. The plant variety right authority will use this plant material for comparison with new varieties for which plant variety rights have been applied for, to check whether they are sufficiently distinctive. Depending on crop, the material may then be added to a living reference collection. If you do not supply plant material, your plant variety right may be withdrawn.