Apply for Plant Variety Protection

Apply for Plant Variety Protection

Protecting your technological advancement and your financial investment

Filing an application

To apply for plant variety protection in France, an application must be filed with the INOV secretariat. Application forms are available for each species using the search engine below.
Only forms IA, IB and IC are compulsory for filing an application.
If the IB form (Technical Questionnaire) is not available for the species you are looking for, please contact INOV:

Does my application meet the required criteria?

Before filing for protection, you should check that your application meets the necessary requirements:

Any French natural or legal person, or any foreign national having their seat or place of business in a member country of the Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) or the European Union or the World Trade Organisation (WTO) can apply for a plant variety right. All other natural or legal person can also apply for a PVR, provided that the State of which the person is a national provides an equivalent protection for French nationals (reciprocity).

A variety is considered to be new and created if it meets the following three conditions:

  • it is clearly distinguishable from any other variety whose existence is a matter of common knowledge at the time of the filing of the application,
  • it is sufficiently uniform in its relevant characteristics,
  • it is stable, which means its relevant characteristics remain unchanged after repeated propagation.

Furthermore, in order to be deemed “new”, a variety must not have been offered for sale or marketed, with the agreement of the breeder:

  • in France or in the territory of the European Economic Area for longer than 12 months,
  • in the territory of any other State for longer than 4 or 6 years, depending on the species, before the filing of the application.

When should I file my application?

You can file your application at any time of the year. However, applications should adhere to closing dates for applications and submission of plant material in order for the technical examination of the variety to be conducted during the next growing season. It is strongly recommended to check this before starting any applications.

For technical reasons, any application or plant material received after the official deadline will not be included in the current or upcoming cycle. The studies will be deferred to the following cycle.

Two options are available for checking closing dates for applications:

  • Contact the INOV office
  • Check the S2 publication on the CPVO website.

What is the procedure for PVR applications?

The application procedure involves the following steps:

1. Preparing the application

For all PVR applications, an application must be filed with the INOV secretariat. The application contains several forms which will provide information for conducting the technical examination and evaluating the application:

  • Form no. 1A records the administrative information related to the application.
  • Technical questionnaire no. 1B provides a description of the variety by which it can be distinguished from other known varieties.
  • Form no. IC requires the applicant to sign a declaration that the variety meets all novelty requirements.

These forms are available for each species using the search engine above.

The administration and granting of plant variety rights require the applicant to pay various fees: application fee, examination fee, certificate issue fee, annual fee to maintain the protection, etc. The price list for these fees is set by INOV and the Ministry of Agriculture, and can be provided upon request by the INOV secretariat.

2. Paper and e-applications

Applicants can submit their applications directly to INOV’s secretariat during opening hours (see below).

Applicants can send their applications to INOV’s offices by registered post with an acknowledgement of receipt (see address below).

Applications can also – once they have been filled in, signed, and dated –  be scanned and sent by email to INOV’s secretariat by email.

Since January 2017, applicants can file their applications semi-electronically by using UPOV’s PBR application tool. This tool is available for all species.

3. Administrative evaluation

This step involves checking the application to verify and determine the following:

4. Technical examination

All candidate varieties must undergo DUS technical examinations:

  • Distinctness: the variety is clearly distinguishable from any other variety whose existence is a matter of common knowledge at the time of filing the application,
  • Uniformity: the variety it is sufficiently uniform in its relevant characteristics,
  • Stability: the variety is stable, its relevant characteristics remain unchanged after repeated propagation.

DUS tests are carried out using plant material provided by the applicant. Material should be submitted by the candidate only after receiving directions to do so from INOV, and must be sent directly to the examination office in charge of the variety (in France or abroad depending on the species). The contact details of this office will be communicated by INOV to the applicant.

5. Granting of title

Once a candidate variety has successfully passed the administrative and technical examination phases, the applicant receives a document entitled “notification délivrance” informing them that the title will be granted. The applicant should then check the relevant information which will be stated on the certificate and pay the fee for issuing the title, and the first annual fee.

Price List

INOV Official Gazette

INOV’s Official Gazette is a monthly publication, which is available to all free of charge. The gazette provides information on new protection applications, new denominations, withdrawals of applications, granting/rejections of PVRs, all changes of applicant/right holders, terminated PVRs, licences, and other information.

You can now receive INOV’s news by email with an e-alert each month when the gazette is published. To benefit from this service free of charge, sign up below:


French National Office for Plant Breeders’ Rights (INOV)

25 rue Georges Morel – CS 90024 – 49071 BEAUCOUZE CEDEX

Tel. +33(0)2 41 22 86 22

Opening hours : 09h00-12h00 / 14h00-17h00

Last and first name Position Email address
Head of INOV
Catherine MALATIER
INOV Assistant