By Nathaniel DeLucia
Though it may not sound too exciting, an important debate just occurred just occurred at the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV). Leaders in the plant, seed, and fruit industries met to discuss the possibility of creating an “international system of cooperation” for filing plant patents. This system would appear to operate like the PCT system for patents by providing a centralized filing system, and would be overseen by a team of international examiners.
Plant patents are slightly different than regular patents (utility patents). They have their own set of rules and examination criteria and are typically governed by their own laws/statutes.
Should these debates lead to the creation of a centralized filing system, they would further the ongoing international trend of harmonizing the world’s intellectual property laws.