Plant variety protection is also an area that comes under the umbrella of IP law. In contrast to patent law, which protects technical inventions, plant variety protection extends only to innovations in the area of plant breeding. The Plant Variety Protection Law regulates precisely when a plant variety is eligible for protection, namely when it fulfils the following criteria: novelty (the variety must be distinguishable from known varieties by at least one characteristic), homogeneity (the distinguishing characteristic must be uniformly present in all plants), stability (the distinguishing characteristic must remain unchanged after repeated propagation) and denomination (it must be capable of being designated by means of a registrable variety name). Protection extends not only to a certain propagating material such as a seed or seedling, but rather to the entire genetic information of a variety, including its progeny. In this way, plant variety protection is intended to compensate a breeder for the costly and time-consuming effort involved in breeding a new plant variety, and so encourage breeders to create varieties with high yields and resistance to pests and disease for the benefit of agriculture and forestry generally. We will be happy to assist you in procuring, monitoring and enforcing plant protection rights, both at home and abroad.