European Union

Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO)

Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO)


  • Role: managing the EU plant variety rights system
  • Director: Martin Ekvad
  • Set up: 1995
  • Staff: 45
  • Location: Angers (France)
  • Website: CPVO

The Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) encourages innovation in plant varieties by meticulously processing applications for Community plant variety rights at affordable costs, while giving its stakeholders policy guidance on and assistance with exercising these rights. Protecting new plant varieties throughout the EU helps uphold breeders' interests and ensures that their investments in research and innovation are profitable.

What it does

  • Grant intellectual property rights to new plant varieties, valid in the EU countries for 25 years (30 years for species of potatoes, vines and trees).
  • Provide its stakeholders with policy guidance on and assistance with exercising these rights.


The Office's President reports to an Administrative Council comprising:

  • representatives of the 27 EU countries
  • European Commission representatives
  • observers.

The Office is a self-financing EU agency and the Administrative Council is its budget authority. Its duties include:

  • meeting at least once yearly to discuss and adopt the work programme and the annual budget
  • monitoring the workings of the Office
  • delegating responsibility for technical examinations to the national examination offices, on behalf of the Office
  • approving technical protocols for testing plant varieties.

The Office comprises 3 units (administrative, technical and legal) and support services.

How it works

The EU plant variety rights system is the most extensive of its kind worldwide. Since 1995 it has processed over 53,000 applications and granted over 41,000 Community plant variety rights. This shows how attractive the system is to breeders keen to market their varieties throughout Europe.

The Office has close links with:

  • the European Commission's Directorate-General for Health & Food Safety (DG SANTE)
  • EU national governments
  • the national examination offices throughout Europe
  • breeders’ associations: ESA, CIOPORA, Plantum
  • the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV)
  • the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (trade marks & designs)
  • the European Patent Office (EPO)
  • intellectual property lawyers & universities.

Who benefits

The main target groups are:

  • plant breeders
  • growers
  • the general public.
Contact details

Community Plant Variety Office(CPVO)

Contact details


3 boulevard Maréchal Foch

F–49101 Angers Cedex 02


+33 2 41 25 64 00
+33 2 41 25 64 10
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