The Secretary-General of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) welcomed the deposit of the instrument of accession of Turkey to the UPOV on October 18, 2007. The said International Convention will enter into force in the country on November 18, 2007. Turkey’s accession to the UPOV was made possible by virtue of Decree no. 5601 dated March 13, 2007.

By way of background, the mission of the UPOV is to provide and promote an effective system for plant variety protection and to encourage the development of new varieties of plants by granting breeders intellectual property rights on the basis of a set of clearly defined principles. New varieties of plants enhance food production in a sustainable way, increase income in the agricultural sector, and contribute to overall development. The Convention now has a total of 65 contracting member states. Contracting member states from the Arab region include (Jordan: entry into force: October 24, 2004), Morocco (entry into force: October 8, 2006), and Tunisia (entry into force: August 31, 2003).

It is also worth noting that the protection of new plant varieties in Turkey is regulated within the framework of Law no. 5042, published on January 15, 2004. The main features of this law include the following:
– Turkish citizens or natural and legal persons residing or established in Turkey as well as nationals, natural persons residing in, and legal entities having their registered offices within the territory of UPOV contracting member states can apply for the registration of plant varieties.
– Protection can only be granted in accordance with the UPOV Convention, namely if the variety is NEW, DISTINCT, UNIFORM, and STABLE.
– The variety is protected for 25 years from the date of grant for vegetables and field crops, and 30 years from the date of grant for trees, vines, and potatoes.
– A maintenance fee is due annually and is payable during the first of each year following the date of grant.

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