Ecuadorian Minister of Science and Human Talent, Augusto Espinosa, meets the association of breeders of vegetitavely reproduced ornamental and fruit plant varieties (CIOPORA) to discuss solutions after dramatic increase of fees for Plant Breeder’s Rights (PBR) in Ecuador. Flower growers in Ecuador and the international breeders´ community are likewise concerned about these extremely high fees.

On the fringes of its upcoming Annual General Meeting in Angers, France, CIOPORA will discuss with a governmental delegation from Ecuador, headed by the Minister of Science and Human Talent, Mr. Augusto Espinosa, and the Director of the Ecuadorian Institute of Intellectual Property (IEPI), Mr. Andres Ycaza, solutions after the dramatic increase of the fees for (PBR) in Ecuador in October 2012.

The meeting will also be joined by representatives of EXPOFLORES, the Ecuadorian association of flower growers and exporters, who are likewise concerned with the current situation regarding the fees for PBR in their country, as the current fee levels jeopardize the competitiveness of the whole Ecuadorian flower industry. If imposed, the high fee levels will become not only a major impediment to effective IP protection of plant innovation in Ecuador. By hindering the technology transfer to Ecuador they could considerably weaken the competitiveness of the flower growing businesses in the country, where cut flowers are the fifth largest export product with a total trade value of USD 679.901.810.

Current situation with PBR fees in Ecuador

As a by-product of the increase of the Patent fees in Ecuador by Resolution Nº 006-2012-CD-IEPI of October 2012, the fees for the acquisition and the maintenance of Plant Breeders´ Rights in Ecuador have been increased too. The new fees for PBR, which over the whole duration of protection result in total amount of USD 170.000, meet a strong opposition of international breeders, mainly of cut-rose and summer flowers, as well as growers in Ecuador.

Currently an eight months moratorium is in force, which allows breeders to retain the payments of the increased fees without interest and penalties. This moratorium was agreed between the Ecuadorian government and EXPOFLORES in order to give time for the finding of a long-term, sustainable solution for the matter.