Law & practice on EDVs in the Netherlands

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Information about Law & practice on EDVs in the Netherlands
Technology

Published on March 4, 2014

Author: TjeerdOverdijk

Source: slideshare.net

Description

Overview of legal developments related to Essentially Derived Varieties in the Netherlands, practical examples and some connected observations

ESSENTIALLY DERIVED VARIETIES CASE LAW IN THE NETHERLANDS and CONNECTED OBSERVATIONS UPOV EDV SEMINAR Geneva, 22 October 2013 TJEERD F.W. OVERDIJK Attorney-at-Law Vondst Advocaten

Outline  Introduction;  Three published cases;  Which level of conformity for finding EDVs?  genetically;  phenotypically?  Other views on “predominant derivation”;  Conclusions.

Open questions on assessment of EDVs  What is “derived”?  When is a variety “predominantly” derived?  When is there conformity in (the expression of) the essential characteristics?;  How do we know whether the expression of characteristics results from the genotype of the INV?

Published NL court rulings on EDVs  the Freesia case (2008);  the Blancanieves case (2002 - 2009);  The Bambino case (2007 – 2010).

The Freesia case (2008):     INV: Ricastor; EDV: Mercurius; DNA (AFLP): no genetic difference; Phenotypical comparison: identical in 38 out of 39 characteristics (slightly rougher stem); difference in flower size: not listed;  Prov. Judge: infringement & injunction upon Hofland to further market its variety.

Gypsophila II: Bambino (2007 – 2010) Dangypmini(P) Million Stars®: Bambino:

Bambino – facts & claims: Danziger (owner of Dangypmini(P)):  AFLP test – Similarity 0.91 Jaccard;  High phenotypic similarity in essential characteristics; differences caused by act of derivation (possibly radiation); Biological Industries (Bambino):  Counter-AFLP (only later): genetic difference is 13% +;  Clear morphological differences in at least 9 of the relevant characteristics mentioned in the UPOV DUS Guidelines.

P.I. Judge DC The Hague (07-09-07): - Expert opinion that treatment with radioactive radiation may lead to 3,5% genetic difference (8 out of 228 markers); - Reference to threshold Jaccard values below 0.90 for other crops (cotton - 0.82; corn – 0.875); - Claimed non-use of plaintiff‟s variety was deemed to lack credibility; - Morphological differences considered irrelevant and/or insignificant because not part of DUS Protocol.

Blancanieves: the case Blancanieves: Dangypmini (P) Million Stars®:

Blancanieves – facts & claims: Danziger:  AFLPs – Similarity 0.944 Jaccard and 0.937 Jaccard;  High phenotypic similarity in essential characteristics; differences caused by act of derivation (polyploidization); Astée Flowers:  Counter-AFLP: 0.822 Jaccard;  Substantial phenotypic differences: differences in 17 out of 21 of the characteristics mentioned in the UPOV DUS Guidelines. Final ruling: Court of Appeal The Hague 29-12-09:

Required level of genetic conformity - UPOV art. 14 (b) I (as referred to in doc IOM/6/2):  “Derived” means that genetic materials of the INV have been used in the creation of the later variety;  “The examples of essential derivation given in Article 14(5)(c) make clear that the differences which result from the act of derivation should be one or very few.” (also: ISF RED) - Determination of genetic conformity: - The use of AFLP markers is “open to objections”; - (reliable) determination of genetic conformity by means of DNA markers requires use of multi-allelic markers and reliable and representative sampling of the entire genome (230 to 260 markers considered insufficient).

Assessment of phenotypic similarity Court of Appeal‟s general remarks on phenotypic similarity: - the alleged EDV and the initial variety must also be phenotypically similar to such a high degree that the one variety differs from the other variety only in one or a few inheritable characteristics; - the determination of distinctiveness focuses on the differences in essential characteristics, whereas the determination of derivation focuses on the similarities of essential characteristics in which the genome is expressed; - DUS test showed 17 morphological differences with Dangypmini, of which 9 characteristics are related to plant architecture and flower morphology; these are specifically characteristics which are relevant for the cultural and practical value of a cut flower such as Gypsophila; - 9 differences is more than only in one or a few inheritable characteristics -> therefore no EDV;

CIOPORA on predominant derivation: CIOPORA Position:  Monoparentals – totally derived;  Varieties “(…) destined for circumventing the exclusive right (…) (plagiarism or me-too-varieties)”: if they retain all essential characteristics of INV and only show changes in insignificant characteristics these should be deemed “predominantly derived” and therefore EDVs;  General genetic threshold for reversal of burden of proof for all ornamental crops (0,90 Jaccard) – open to debate;  Note: this view brings crosses into the realm of EDV: Is at odds with “one or very few”. Is this desirable?

Conclusions: - Prevailing view of court rulings in the Netherlands: For a variety to be qualified an EDV the differences with the INV should not be more than one or very few inheritable characteristics (both in terms of genetics and phenotype); - The use of AFLP-fingerprinting is open tot criticism; - Breeders need clear guidance on: - Definition of ‘derived’: whether or not physical use of the INV is a condition? - Definition of the term „predominantly derived‟ (only “one or very few” or could it be more?); - whether or not crosses (except repeated back-crossing) are inside or outside the scope of EDV by definition; - the meaning of ‘essential’ in essential characteristics.

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