Several international seed companies have banded together to form a bureau that will discourage and prevent infringements on their plant variety rights.

The Anti-Infringement Bureau for Intellectual Property Rights on Plant Material, which will be based in Brussels, Belgium, will focus on detecting illegally propagated plant material, seed trade and distribution, as well as unauthorized use of registered names of the protected varieties, according to a news release.

Vegetable seed companies invest significant amounts financially and time-wise into developing varieties. The unique genetics benefit producers with increased yield, better agronomic features, and resistances to pests and diseases, according to the release. Additional traits such as improved storability, color, taste and health attributes.

Over the past years, the sector has seen an increase in the illegal reproduction and distribution of its genetics, resulting in an uncontrollable number of unauthorized end products on the market. The resulting sales decreases lead to less revenue for variety development.

In addition, the buyer faces the unknown about the seed quality of the pirated genetic materials.

The companies participating in the association are Bejo Zaden, De Ruiter Seeds, Enza Zaden, Vilmorin Cie., Nunhems, Rijk Zwaan, Sakata Seed, Semillas Fito, Seminis, Syngenta Seeds and Takii Seed.

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