Plant Breeders’ Rights for food security and economic development

The protection of the rights of plant breeders is an important stimulus for the development of better plant varieties. The possibility to claim intellectual property rights on a variety gives a breeder the exclusive rights to exploit it and to prevent others from doing so illegally.

Many countries are therefore developing and implementing a legal framework for the protection of plant varieties within an intellectual property rights system. Besides developing legislation, the implementation of the Plant Breeders' Rights system has far-reaching consequences of a legal, institutional, technical, financial and commercial nature. In this course, participants will learn about these consequences, and about practical ways to implement new regulations.

A strong Plant Variety Protection System can ensure and improve food security in any country. This course aims at facilitating the introduction and practical implementation of Plant Breeders’ Rights in countries where legislation on this matter is being developed or has recently been passed. And at a better understanding of how a Plant Variety Protection System works for those who are involved in the registration of new varieties.

Starting date: 
03 October 2022

Target group

Applicants should have a position in the variety registration system or have a position that will give them such responsibilities in the near future. Countries that have recently developed a plant variety protection law, or those that are currently in the process of developing such legislation, will be given priority. We also welcome employees of the legal departments in the agricultural industry.

Applicants should have an agricultural or horticultural education at a minimum of BSc level or a legal education supplemented with practical experience in agriculture and horticulture. Participants are expected to be proficient in English. 

Participants that register timely and have been accepted are invited to take part, free of charge, in the UPOV Distance Learning Course (DL-205) 'Introduction to the UPOV System of Plant Variety Protection under the UPOV Convention'. 

Date and location

This course will be provided online:

  • Date: 3rd of October 2022 until Fri 2nd of December 2022
  • Duration: Part-time, 9 weeks with one or two breaks in between
  • Total hours: 80 hours
  • Venue: Facilitated online sessions

Internet connection is important for the completion of the course. 

This training course takes place in general over a 9 week period to make the workload and time you spend online manageable. A new topic is covered every week.  

Our online learning system is Naktuinbouw Academy. Everything you need — our course program, social space, assignments, background information are in this system. The Naktuinbouw Academy is easy to operate, can also be accessed by your phone. We even organise a technical check-in before the course starts, to test your facilities and get familiar with the tools.


The course is currently online and we follow this format:

Interactive plenary sessions where we share content, review assignments and facilitate exchanging experiences. 

Group work either online or offline where you with other participants address a specific question or do an assignment. Results of these assignments are also shared and discussed during online sessions;

Individual assignments where you will read literature, watch videos, and do exercises on your own. These assignments are an essential part of the learning and most of them count for getting the certificate. They are meant to introduce or deepen knowledge and make the link between theory and your own situation. 

Course subjects:

  • Legal aspects: legal framework, requirements of the international Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), other systems, patents, regulations relating to genetic resource use
  • Institutional aspects: procedures and administration, organisational setup, variety registration systems, collaboration and testing
  • Technical aspects: the principle of Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability (DUS), practical DUS-testing, UPOV guidelines, field testing, biochemical/ molecular techniques, statistics, data analysis, reporting, variety denomination
  • Exploitation of plant breeders rights: enforcing rights, royalty collection, farm saved seed



The course fee for 2022 is €4.100,- excl. vat.



Training course only starts with enough registrations. You will be timely informed upon cancellation. Our cancellation arrangement is stated in our general conditions, (artikel 6.) Our privacy statement reveals the careful way in which we treat your personal data.

1 Participant 2 Company 3 Confirmation 4 Complete