Plant breeding rights
The development of new plant varieties is important in ensuring the world has enough wholesome and safe food. At the same time, we must take environmental considerations into account, not destroy other forms of nature and ensure that the plants are resistant to pests, diseases and climate change. This also applies to plants not used for food, such as animal feed, plants for landscaping, trees for forestry, ornamental plants, etc.
Plant breeding is a time-consuming and expensive process, and the plant breeder therefore needs an exclusive right to exploit the variety for a period. The period of protection is twenty-five years for trees and vines, and twenty years for all other plants.
In order to obtain an exclusive right, certain requirements are set in the Plant Breeders Act. The variety must be so-called DUS, (Distinct, Uniform, Stable), i.e. distinguishable from other previously known varieties, uniform in view of the fact that the individuals are sufficiently similar, and stable after repeated propagation.
In addition, the variety must be commercially new, and it must be given a suitable variety denomination. The variety denomination becomes the term used to describe the variety.
The Plant Variety Board
The Plant Variety Board is the authority that grants plant breeders' rights in Norway. In the EU, this is managed by the CPVO (Community Plant Variety Office), which can be compared to the EUIPO (EU Trademark Office) for trademarks. In contrast to trademark rights, plant breeders' rights are not part of the EEA Agreement.
The rules on plant breeders' rights follow from the Plant Breeders' Act. (planteforedlerloven - in Norwegian - link to Lovdata)
Plant variety denominations and trademarks
Plant variety denominations may be an impediment to registering a trademark.