Plant breeders, ranging from individuals to multi-national companies, are engaged in producing new varieties with improvements in agronomic, environmental and end-use characteristics. The introduction of new varieties for major agricultural and horticultural crops is regulated through a process known as National Listing (or presence on the EU Common Catalogue of Varieties). For those species within the scope of the legislation, National Listing is a pre-requisite for marketing a plant variety.
A specific form of intellectual property right, known as Plant Breeders' Rights, applies to plant varieties. Breeders can choose whether or not to apply for plant breeders' rights, which enable them to charge royalties for protected varieties. Royalties provide a means for breeding companies to fund their work.
Complete National Lists and current Grants of Plant Breeders' Rights can be found in the latest Special Edition and subsequent editions of the Plant Varieties and Seeds Gazette.
Up to date Agricultural and Vegetable Common Catalogues can be found on the EU Plant Variety Database.
27 February 2013 - Plant Varieties and Seeds Gazette: the February edition has been published