NIAB - National Institute of Agricultural Botany

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Plant Breeders Rights

Contact: Elizabeth Scott

Plant Breeders' Rights (PBR) are a form of intellectual property designed specifically to protect new varieties of plants. They are available for varieties that meet certain relevant internationally agreed criteria, and, if granted, cover specific territories for defined periods of time.

NIAB's role within the PBR system is technical: we conduct growing trials on varieties that are the subject of applications, to test whether they meet the criteria for grant. We also provide a range of related support services including research and development. We undertake this work for the United Kingdom Plant Variety Rights Office (PVRO), other national PVR offices, and for the European Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO-OCVV).

NIAB’s plant characterisation capability is based upon long-established phenotyping skills, datasets and biological resources, backed up with appropriate facilities for data management, laboratory work and field trials across a wide range of agricultural and ornamental species. The capability applies scientifically sound approaches to the high throughput, standardised characterisation of the agricultural and ornamental plant genetic resources utilised by the food and farming industries in the UK and Europe. Image analysis is routinely employed.

To see more about our work and the broad range of crops and services covered, follow PBR Ornamental Crops or PBR Agricultural Crops

For more information about United Kingdom Plant Breeders' Rights, and details of how to apply, click on

For more information about European Community Plant Variety Rights, and details of how to apply, follow

For information about the International Conventions relating to Plant Breeders' Rights, and contact details for Plant Variety Rights offices outside Europe, visit