by Catherine Saez, IP Watch

When countries belong to several international instruments, some aspects of those instruments may run contradictory to one another. A symposium held recently by the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) sought to explore the interrelations between the convention and the international treaty on plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.


UPOV member states and observers will be meeting in Geneva between 24th and 28th October for UPOV's Autumn session. Its main rule-making body, the Consultative Committee (CC) will meet on 27th, while the UPOV Council, its highest decision-making body, on 28th October. The Administrative and Legal Committee (CAJ) is scheduled for the 25th October.

by Catherine Saez, IP Watch

A side event to last week’s annual General Assemblies of the World Intellectual Property Organization looked at ways for developing countries to design sui generis system for protecting new varieties of plant. The event also looked into the technical assistance provided by WIPO, which, according to the groups, focuses only on the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) system.

The Association for Plant Breeding for the Benefit of Society (APBREBES), Third World Network (TWN), and South Centre organised the side event on 7 October.

by Elin Cecilie Ranum, Head of Policy and Information Department Utviklingsfondet/The Development Fund

Almost 100 representatives from farmers’ organisations, civil society, contracting parties, research institutes, international organization and the seed sector were gathered in Bali, Indonesia between the 27th and 30th September to discuss the implementation of Farmers’ Rights as established by the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (the Plant Treaty). This was the third global consultation to share knowledge, views, experiences and obstacles in order to prepare recommendations for the realisation of Farmers’ Rights.


Attended by some 60 government officials from the 19 ARIPO Member States, the African Seed Trade Association, foreign entities such as the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), the European Union’s Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) and the French Association for Seed and Seedlings (GNIS), the meeting, for the first time, included three members of the African civil society - the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), the African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) and Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (PELUM- Zimbabwe).

by Sangeeta Shashikant, TWN

In advance of an Expert Meeting to review Draft Regulations for the Implementation of the Arusha Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants, the Secretariat of the African Regional Intellectual Property Office (ARIPO) released a draft that is adverse to the interests of small farmers.