Functions of the CPVO
The main activity of the CPVO is granting Community plant variety rights having uniform effect within the territory of the European Union and which may not be granted, transferred or terminated in respect to the above-mentioned territory otherwise than on the uniform basis. The CPVO keeps a Register of applications for the Community plant variety rights. Cumulative protection is prohibited; any variety protected by the Community plant variety right cannot be a subject of a national plant variety right or any patent for that variety.
Conditions for protection: to be eligible for protection, varieties have to be distinct from existing, commonly known varieties; sufficiently uniform; stable and new in the sense that they must not have been commercialized prior to certain dates established by reference to the date of the application for protection.
Filing procedure: an application for the Community plant variety protection can be filed either directly through the CPVO or through one of the national offices who subsequently transfers it to the CPVO. For applicants not having a domicile, seat or establishment within the territory of the European Union, a procedural representative with a domicile, seat or establishment therein is required. Electronic filing: available. Application fees payable to the CPVO are reduced for online filings as of January 1, 2016. Examination: the services of the CPVO check that the application is complete and eligible. If no obstacle prevents a grant of Community protection, the CPVO takes the necessary steps for organizing a technical examination of the candidate variety. The aim of the technical examination (known also as “DUS” examination) is to verify that the variety is distinct from others, uniform in its characteristics and stable in the long run. The candidate variety must also be designated by a variety denomination, which is also subject to verification by the CPVO. If the examination results are satisfactory and all the other requirements are fulfilled, the CPVO grants a Community Plant Variety Right.