About the Author
Alice Smart is a patent attorney and associate with a wide range of technical experience working in large pharmaceutical companies, and smaller start-up firms, enabling her to work on patent applications from diverse technologies. Before joining Appleyard Lees, Alice worked as a formulation scientist for Wyeth Research and in regulatory affairs for Astra Zeneca.
The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has started to contact Retained EU Plant Variety Rights holders advising that after 1 January 2024, in line with the UK’s EU withdrawal agreement, the APHA will need an address for service in the UK, or the name and address of an agent in the UK, if they wish to continue to hold their Retained EU Plant Variety Right under UK legislation.
Varieties with EU Plant Variety Rights granted by the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) effective on 31 December 2020 continue to be protected under UK legislation in the UK for the remainder of their lifespan, and are referred to as “Retained EU Plant Variety Rights”. The remaining term in the UK is calculated from the date the EU right was granted. The Retained EU Plant Variety Rights can be found here EU plant breeders’ rights transferred to UK – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
What do rights holders need to do?
In advance of 1 January 2024 the APHA are urging Holders of Retained EU Plant Variety Rights to provide the following:
- Confirm they are the Holder of Retained EU Plant Variety Rights, confirm if they wish to continue holding or surrender their Plant Variety Right(s) from 1 January 2024 and provide a copy of the relevant section of the excel data sheet listing all Retained EU Plant Variety Rights (sent by the APHA to Holders).
- Provide a UK address for service or name and address of an agent in the UK- regardless if the Holder of a Retained EU Plant Variety Right is based in the UK or not. Complete and sign an Authorisation of Agent Form (PVS11) accordingly.
- If the Holder of a Retained Plant Variety Right has changed since 31 December 2020 complete a APHA Assignment of Rights form (PVS10) and provide a copy of the CPVO (Community Plant Variety Rights Office) website page showing that the EU holder of the rights has changed.
Once these acts are performed the Right will be issued with a UK grant number, the information added to the APHA database and the Right published in the Gazette and Special Edition.
What happens if rights holders do not provide the required information?
If this information is not supplied, then after 1 January 2024 the Controller of Plant Variety Rights may formally request a UK address for service or the name and address of an agent within the UK. If this information is not received the Retained EU Plant Variety Right may be terminated if the Controller is satisfied that the Holder of Rights has failed to comply with a request under regulation 6 of the Plant Breeder’s Rights (Amendment etc) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019.
The APHA are strongly advising that providing a UK address for service, or details of a UK-based agent, now will expedite the process in advance of any formal request for a UK address for service/UK agent details.
If you have any questions, would like assistance in providing a UK address for service, or require details of a UK-based agent please contact: