Each variety selected is protected at a European Community level by the intermediary of the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO).
The applicant makes a protection request either directly to the CPVO or to one of the national offices which communicates this to the CPVO.
The departments at the CPVO check that it is complete and admissible. If there are no obstacles opposing European protection, the CVPO takes measures for the organisation and realisation of a technical examination of the candidate variety.
The objective is to verify that the variety is new, Distinct from all others, Uniform in its characteristics and Stable over time (DUS). The duration of the examination varies between one year for the majority of ornamental species and up to six years for certain fruit tree varieties. In France, this procedure is carried out by the INRA.
After having met all the necessary criteria, the candidate variety must be designated with a variety name, which will also be checked by the CPVO.
Once the CPVO has established that the examination results are positive and all the other criteria have been satisfied, it grants the community plant variety protection right for a period of 30 years for fruit trees.
This plant variety certificate (C.O.V) grants its holder exclusive production, breeding and distribution rights of the plant variety. Anybody wishing to breed or plant the trees and produce fruit from a C.O.V variety must obtain prior authorisation from the owner of the variety. They must also use the official name given to the variety. This obligation is applicable even after the European Community plant variety protection right has expired.
For countries outside the European Union, we ask each country to provide a national plant variety certificate.