Contact: Elizabeth Scott
At its headquarters in Cambridge UK, NIAB undertakes comparative growing trials on new varieties of Ornamentals to see if they meet the criteria for grant of Plant Breeders Rights (PBR). The basic criteria are that the variety should be Distinct, Uniform and Stable (DUS); it must also be sufficiently novel, and have an acceptable name.
We work on a very broad range of crops in over 100 genera and species but specialise in cut flower and pot chrysanthemums, roses, dahlias, herbaceous perennials, woody plants, and a wide range of basket and container plants. Trials are conducted under glass or in our 2ha outdoor trial site, which has facilities for field planting but also for shade or protected growing.
NIAB's role is as the technical centre, conducting these trials on behalf of various authorities who are responsible for the grant of rights in their own territories: the United Kingdom Plant Variety Rights Office, other individual national PVR offices, and the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO). We also provide research, development and support services and represent the United Kingdom on technical matters, for example within UPOV working parties.
Plant Breeders' Rights (PBR) are a form of intellectual property designed specifically to protect new varieties of plants. They are available to varieties which meet certain relevant internationally agreed criteria, and, if granted, cover specific territories for defined periods of time. While rights are active they give breeders control over the commercialisation of their varieties, helping them to obtain a financial return from their efforts and their investment in innovation.
For the breeder of a new variety the decision to apply for rights depends on a balance of various factors, but key points for consideration will be the likely market for the plant, ease and speed of propagation, probable sales volume, and how it will be marketed and licensed.