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Formal Opening of the Regional Seminar on the Protection of New Plant Varieties

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Photo courtesy americangardening.net
Photo courtesy americangardening.net

June 28, 2013:

On July 1, 2013 beginning at 9:00 a.m. at the Capital Plaza Hotel, Port of Spain, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) of the Ministry of Legal Affairs shall be hosting the formal opening of the Regional Seminar on the Protection of New Plant Varieties under the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) Convention.

Increased plant breeding and crop improvement (cocoa, for example) in Trinidad and Tobago necessitates the securing of property rights for new planting materials developed and, more importantly, the licensing of protected varieties in foreign markets. Protection of plant breeders’ rights could spawn a possible industry along the Developmental Pillars with emphasis on building a knowledge-intensive economy.

Trinidad and Tobago cocoa enjoys an international reputation for excellence. Local breeders, who are steadfastly developing several new cocoa varieties for commercial release, have been preparing applications for plant breeders’ rights. Consequently, the Ministry of Food Production has filed eleven (11) applications for new cocoa varieties with the IPO. But new varieties, to be protected, must be distinguished from other varieties and wild types in nature and test approved guidelines are needed to support same. UPOV encourages the development of test guidelines by national experts and local breeders, especially for crops for which no test guidelines have been developed. All test guidelines will require some degree of fine tuning before adoption by UPOV.

The National Seminar, which is targeting cocoa breeders, in particular, therefore, seeks to, inter alia:
• Work with breeders to develop technical guidelines for testing new varieties
• Develop official testing facilities and authorities

The Regional Seminar, which is targeting regional new plant variety authorities, in particular, therefore, seeks to, inter alia:
• Encourage CARICOM partners to adopt a UPOV-based protection regime
• Encourage CARICOM partners to advance their IP systems for breeders’ rights

The Regional Seminar runs from July 1-2, 2013 at the Capital Plaza Hotel, Wrightson Road, Port of Spain and a National Seminar runs from July 3-4 2013 at the Intellectual Property Office, 11-13 Frederick Street, Port of Spain.
Contact the Corporate Communications Unit
for further information at 623-2979/627 8825


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