International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants

The International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants, or UPOV Convention, was adopted on December 2, 1961, following a diplomatic conference held in Paris, France. It came into force on August 10, 1968, after having been ratified by the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Germany. It was subsequently revised in 1972, 1978, and 1991. The United States is a signatory to the 1991 Act of the UPOV Convention.

The UPOV Convention is administered by the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), an intergovernmental organization with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The mission of UPOV is to provide and promote an effective system of plant variety protection, with the aim of encouraging the development of new varieties of plants, for the benefit of society.

The UPOV member countries hold annual meetings of the UPOV Council, a permanent body under the UPOV Convention. Other UPOV bodies include the Consultative Committee, the Administrative and Legal Committee, and the Technical Committee, made up of several Technical Working Parties (TWPs) covering several agricultural sectors. The TWPs meet periodically to share and discuss technical observations and advancements in agricultural sectors, which help to standardize examination procedures used by the members. As of June 2021, UPOV has 77 members.

For more information about UPOV, visit the UPOV website. For more information about plant protection, visit the USPTO’s plant and plant variety protection policy webpage.