Change of person of the applicant, holder, or licensee: what steps should be taken?
A plant variety right is a title that lives, that is valued, that defends itself against acts of counterfeiting, that is extinguished, and that throughout its life can change hands once or several times.
What is a change of ownership? The holder has changed; the title has been transferred to another person. This can occur in several situations, such as:
- Within the acquisition of a company,
- A bankrupt company which finds a buyer,
- Transfer from father to son, for example,
- An inheritance, a legacy,
- A company that grants a license to a licensed company.
As soon as there is a change in ownership, it is strongly recommended to inform INOV so that this change can be published in the Official Bulletin.
Why do I need to do this?
1 – To assert your rights with third parties
This is in the interest of the new holder as provided for in the legislation:
“Applications for plant variety certificates, the acts issuing the certificate and all acts transmitting or modifying the rights attached to an application for a certificate or a certificate shall be enforceable against third parties only if they have been duly published under the conditions provided for by decree in the Council of State. “Article L623-14 CPI
This information and registration process with INOV applies both to the transfer of titles and to the transfer of applications in progress.
2 – To allow INOV to monitor current ownership
Sometimes, a certificate can be the subject of several successive transfers.
Example: a certificate is granted to company A, which transfers it to company B (1st transfer), which itself transfers it to company C (2nd transfer).
1st transfer: Company B has informed INOV of its new ownership: INOV updates its file and its internal database and publishes this change of ownership in the Official Bulletin.
This first transfer is made in accordance with the procedure and INOV is informed of the new holder.
2nd transfer: Company B sells its certificate to company C a few years later. The latter forgets to inform INOV. Because INOV is not informed, there is no publication to inform third parties, and INOV’s internal database keeps company B as the owner.
Many years later, Company C wishes to obtain documents from INOV (certificate, statement, etc.) or make modifications (e.g. surrender).
INOV cannot respond to this company’s request because it is not known to its services. The company is “not known” in the system.