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European union / EU institutions / Decentralised bodies of the European Union (agencies)

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Council Regulation (EC) No 2100/94 of 27 July 1994, established a system of Community plant variety rights as the sole and exclusive form of Community industrial property rights for new plant varieties. The system is administered by the Community Plant Variety Offi ce (CPVO).

The CPVO is a self-fi nancing Community body with legal personality which came into being on 27 April 1995. Since August 1997, the CPVO has been based in Angers (France).

The CPVO decides on applications for Community plant variety rights on the basis of a formal examination and a technical examination of the candidate variety. A Community plant variety right is valid for 25 or 30 years, depending on the species. The rights are valid in all 25 Member States of the EU.

The CPVO is managed by its President, assisted by a Vice-President, both appointed by the Council of the EU. It consists of two units, the Technical Unit and the Finance and Administration Unit, all supported by IT, Personnel and Legal Services.

The CPVO is supervised by an administrative council comprising one representative of each Member State and of the European Commission and their alternates.

A board of appeal is responsible for deciding on appeals against decisions of the CPVO. A right of appeal against a decision of the board lies with the Court of First Instance and from there to the Court of Justice.

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