Organigram

pdf, Structure of UPOV Organigram

Terms of Reference and Composition of the UPOV Bodies and a Brief History of their Development

Englarged Editorial Committee (TC-EDC)

Technical Working Parties (TWPs)

Technical Working Party for Agricultural Crops (TWA)
Technical Working Party on Automation and Computer Programs (TWC)
Technical Working Party for Fruit Crops (TWF)
Technical Working Party for Ornamental Plants and Forest Trees (TWO)
Technical Working Party for Vegetables (TWV)

Council

The Council and the Office of the Union are the permanent organs of the Union (Article 25 of the 1991 Act). The tasks of the Council are established in Article 26(5) of the 1991 Act of the UPOV Convention (the same tasks can be found in Articles 20 and 21 of the 1961 Convention and of the 1978 Act).

“(5) [Tasks] The tasks of the Council shall be to:

"(i) study appropriate measures to safeguard the interests and to encourage the development of the Union;

"(ii) establish its rules of procedure;

"(iii) appoint the Secretary-General and, if it finds it necessary, a Vice Secretary-General and determine the terms of appointment of each;

"(iv) examine an annual report on the activities of the Union and lay down the programme for its future work;

"(v) give to the Secretary-General all necessary directions for the accomplishment of the tasks of the Union;

"(vi) establish the administrative and financial regulations of the Union;

"(vii) examine and approve the budget of the Union and fix the contribution of each member of the Union;

"(viii) examine and approve the accounts presented by the Secretary-General;

"(ix) fix the date and place of the conferences referred to in Article 38 and take the measures necessary for their preparation; and

"(x) in general, take all necessary decisions to ensure the efficient functioning of the Union."

Article 26(5) of the 1991 Act of the UPOV Convention (UPOV Publication 221)

Consultative Committee (CC)

On November 27, 1968, the Council decided, at its first meeting to establish a Consultative Working Committee [whose name changed to Consultative Committee] in charge of the preparation of the sessions of the Council.

Document CPU Min. 2 Report of the second meeting of the Council, Berne, February 11 to 12, 1969 (page 9) Working document CPU Doc. 7

Administrative and Legal Committee (CAJ)

The Consultative Committee, at its sixteenth session, on December 9, 1977, recommended the establishment of the CAJ:

“19. The Committee held a lengthy discussion on the list of Committees or other bodies of UPOV. It finally decided to propose a reorganization of the activities of the UPOV bodies in the following manner:

“(i) The Council– established by the Convention—and its Consultative Committee would continue their activities as at present.

“(ii) Matters of a technical nature would be dealt with by the Technical Steering Committee—w hose name it was proposed to change to “Technical Committee” in view of its enlarged activities—and by the Technical Working Parties under the guidance and supervision of the first-mentioned Committee.

“(iii) All other matters, mainly of an administrative and legal nature (but concerning also finance and policy matters), would be dealt with by a body provisionally called ‘Administrative and Legal Committee’ which would be free to establish subgroups for the consideration of special questions.”

Document CC/XVI/5 Report of the sixteenth session of the Consultative Committee, Geneva, December 5 and 9, 1977 (paragraphs 19 (iii) and 20)

 “20. The new Administrative and Legal Committee would replace the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Examination, the Committee of Experts on the Interpretation and Revision of the Convention, the Working Group on Variety Denominations and the Fee Harmonization Working Party, whose activities it would continue, and also the proposed Committee of Experts on a UPOV Model Law on Plant Variety Protection, whose envisaged activities it would take over. Finally, the new Committee would also study the relations between competition rules and plant variety protection. Some of the matters within the competence of certain of the bodies which would cease to exist would, however, fall within the purview of the Technical Committee."

The above recommendation was adopted by the Council at its eleventh ordinary session on December 9, 1977.

Document C/XI/21 Report of the eleventh ordinary session of the Council, Geneva, December 6 to 9, 1977 (paragraph 58)

Administrative and Legal Committee Advisory Group(CAJ-AG)

The Administrative and Legal Committee (CAJ), at its fifty-second session, held in Geneva on October 24, 2005, agreed an approach for the preparation of information materials concerning the UPOV Convention, as explained in paragraphs 8 to 10 of document CAJ/52/4 (see below) and to the establishment of an advisory group to the CAJ (“CAJ-AG”) to assist in the preparation of documents concerning such materials, as proposed in paragraphs 11 to 14 of document CAJ/52/4 (paragraph 67 of document CAJ/52/5, see below).

Document CAJ/52/5 Report of the fifty-second session of the CAJ, Geneva, October 24, 2005 (paragraph 67)

The agreed approach for the preparation of information materials concerning the UPOV Convention is summarized as follows: the Office of the Union will develop certain draft materials which it considers covers aspects of a straightforward nature and will circulate these to the CAJ, for comments within a specified time. In other cases where it is considered that there are difficult issues, where discussions at a CAJ session would be important for the development of suitable information materials, and also in cases where the drafts on seemingly straightforward materials provoked unexpected concerns when circulated for comments, it was agreed that the assistance of the CAJ-AG would be sought prior to the CAJ being invited to discuss those matters at its sessions.

Summarized from working document CAJ/52/4 (paragraphs 9 to 14) and document CAJ/52/5 Report of the fifty-second session of the CAJ, Geneva, October 24, 2005 (paragraph 67)

Technical Committee (TC)

The Council, at its fifth session, on October 15, 1971, adopted the following resolution concerning the establishment of the Technical Steering Committee (the complete resolution can be found in document UPOV/C/V/31):

Considering the need for a common approach to the concepts of distinctness, uniformity and stability for the different plant species and in particular for harmonizing the different Guidelines,”

"Decides:

"1. that a Technical Steering Committee shall be established;

"2. that this Committee shall consist of one member nominated by each member State, who preferably shall be the Head of the examining authority in the member States, and

"3. that the Chairman of the Committee shall be appointed by the Council for a period of three years, and that he shall act on behalf of the Committee in coordinating the work of the Technical Working Parties and ensuring that this work proceeds in accordance with policy decisions of the Council;

"4. that the other tasks of the Committee shall be as follows:

"(a) to review the technical documents prepared by the Working Parties and to ensure that they are generally based on the same philosophy and that any differences represent real technical differences in the requirements of different species;

"(b) to review proposals from the Technical Working Parties;

"(c) to present to Council, after approval by it, the technical documents and proposals from the Technical Working Parties;

"(d) to undertake such other tasks as may from time to time be referred to it by Council.”

Document UPOV/C/V/28 Report of the fifth session of the Council, Geneva, October 13 to 15, 1971 (paragraph 57)

Working document as amended by the Council: UPOV/C/V/31

“19. The [Consultative] Committee held a lengthy discussion on the list of Committees or other bodies of UPOV. It finally decided to propose a reorganization of the activities of the UPOV bodies in the following manner:

[…]

“(ii) Matters of a technical nature would be dealt with by the Technical Steering Committee—w hose name it was proposed to change to ‘Technical Committee’ in view of its enlarged activities—and by the Technical Working Parties under the guidance and supervision of the first-mentioned Committee. […]”

Document CC/XVI/5 Report of the sixteenth session of the Consultative Committee, Geneva, December 5 and 9, 1977 (paragraph 19)

The above recommendation was adopted by the Council at its eleventh ordinary session on December 9, 1977.

Document C/XI/21 Report of the eleventh ordinary session of the Council, Geneva, December 6 to 9, 1977 (paragraph 58)

Enlarged Editorial Committee

The Editorial Committee (EC) was originally established by the Technical Committee (TC) to ensure consistency across the different Test Guidelines produced by the various Technical Working Parties (TWPs) and to check the alignment of texts across all the official UPOV languages before these were put forward for adoption by the TC. In that role, its membership was selected from within the membership of the TC both to provide broad experience of the UPOV system and also to represent the original three UPOV languages – English, French and German – later expanded also to include Spanish. The EC Chair is provided by the Office of the Union.

In 1996, the TC began the task of revising the General Introduction to the Guidelines for the Conduct of Tests for Distinctness, Homogeneity and Stability of New Varieties of Plants (document TG/1/2), and the membership of the EC was enlarged to assist with that work. As a result, its membership was extended to include the Chairmen of the Technical Working Party for Agricultural Crops (TWA), the Technical Working Party for Fruit Crops (TWF), the Technical Working Party for Ornamental Plants and Forest Trees (TWO), the Technical Working Party for Vegetables (TWV), the Technical Working Party on Automation and Computer Programs (TWC), and the Working Group on Biochemical and Molecular Techniques, and DNA-Profiling in Particular (BMT). The Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the TC are also members of this “Enlarged” Editorial Committee (hereinafter referred to as the TC-EDC). Since 1996, the review and re-drafting tasks of the TC-EDC have also taken an important role in the refinement of documents for consideration by the TC.

Summarized from working document TC/38/9 (paragraphs 1 to 5)

“The TC agreed with the proposal made by the Chairman of the TC in document TC/38/9, that the composition of the Editorial Committee, comprising the four language experts, should remain unchanged and that the Enlarged Editorial Committee (TC-EDC) should continue to include the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the TC, the Chairmen of the TWPs and the Chairman of the BMT. It agreed that, in addition, a small number of additional members could be included in the TC-EDC, where and when necessary, to ensure that there is an appropriate range of expertise and experience. The need for additional members is to be identified by the TC, or by the TC-EDC itself. If these needs are agreed by the TC, nominations for additional members from within the TC, each for a period of three years to coincide with the terms of the Chairmen of the TWPs, would be the responsibility of the TC.”

Extract from document TC/38/16 (paragraph 178) Report of the thirty-eighth session of the TC, Geneva, April 15 to 17, 2002

Technical Working Parties


Based on the proposals in document CPU Doc. 1 (reproduced below), the Council decided, at its second meeting on February 12, 1969, to establish five Technical Working Parties (TWPs).

CPU Min. 2 Report of the second meeting of the Council, Berne, February 11 to 12, 1969 (page 14)

Proposals for continuing consultations on technical matters

“1. In the period which preceded the coming into force of the Convention and the establishment of the Council informal technical discussions have taken place between signatory and other States, and some progress has been made in reaching a common understanding of some of the technical problems of plant breeders’ rights. A report by Dr. Wellington, the Chairman of the Technical Group concerned, is available for circulation if desired. It has been suggested, subject to Council agreement, that these consultations should continue. Taking advantage of experience to date, this paper sets out for discussion a possible structure and method of working.

“2. Technical problems in relation to plant breeders’ rights arise in the main from the interpretation by member States of the criteria (distinctness, stability and uniformity) laid down in national laws on the basis of Articles 6 and 7 of the Convention, and their application to the different genera and species. Consultations between member States and with the Office of the Union established under Article 15 will be largely concerned with these matters. The purpose of such consultations would presumably be to seek agreement on such matters as plant characters, standards, trial techniques and technical procedures generally, wherever possible to incorporate any such agreement in the national practices of member States, and so to achieve in due course a uniform assessment of cultivars in relation to the criteria outlined in the Convention. This would provide the necessary basis for collaboration between member States and with the Office of the Union in pursuit of the objectives set out in Article 30 of the Convention and the Recommendation concerning the international organization of the preliminary examination made by the Conference of interested States held in Paris in December 1961.

“3. For the technical work of assessing distinctness, uniformity and stability of new cultivars special skills are required for different groups of plant species. It would therefore seem necessary to convene different groups of specialists to discuss the particular problems of these groups. The separate groups will require to be brought together and to receive overall guidance from some central body responsible to the Council.

“4. It is suggested that the Technical Working Parties be established. Five such working parties would cover most needs:

Agricultural crops – Self fertilized (including potatoes) [TWA]

Agricultural crops – Cross fertilized [TWA]

Horticultural vegetable crops [TWV]

Fruit crops [TWF]

Decoratives [TWO] ”

In the first session of the “Technical Working Party for horticultural vegetable crops” the name was changed to “Technical Working Party for Vegetables” (TWV).

Working document CPU Doc. 1 (paragraphs 1 to 4)

The Council at its sixth session, from November 7 to 10, 1972, decided to merge the TWPs on Self-fertilized and Cross-fertilized agricultural crops to cover all agricultural crops thus becoming the “Technical Working Party for Agricultural Crops” (TWA), and decided to establish a “ Technical Working Party for Forest Trees.”

Document UPOV/C/VI/12 Report of the sixth session of the Council, November 7 to 10, 1972 (paragraphs 18 to 21)

The Council, at its sixteenth ordinary session, on October 13 to 15, 1982, approved the incorporation of the “Technical Working Party for Forest Trees” in the “Technical Working Party for Ornamental Plants” thus becoming the “Technical Working Party for Ornamental Plants and Forest Trees.” (TWO)

Document C/XVI/20, Report of sixteenth ordinary session of the Council, Geneva, October 13 to 15, 1982 (paragraph 16) TC/XVII/5 (paragraph 11)

The TC at its eighteenth session, from November 17 to 19, 1982, established the Technical Working Party on Automation and Computer Programs (TWC):

“The first task of the Working Party would be to prepare an inventory of the existing programs and methods of data processing. Thereafter it would concentrate on the following two topics:

"(i) A study of the problem of codification and standardization of entries, in order to make an exchange of information compatible;

"(ii) The preparation of a comparative analysis of the methods used for cross fertilized plants in the testing of distinctness, homogeneity and stability and in the statistical interpretation of the data obtained and of a proposal for an improved common solution.”

Document TC/XVIII/13 Report of the eighteenth session of the TC, Geneva, November 17 to 19, 1982 (paragraph 32)

The Council at its seventeenth ordinary session, on October 14, 1983 approved the establishment by the TC of the TWC.

Document C/XVII/15. Report of the seventeenth ordinary session of the Council, Geneva, October 12 to 14, 1983 (paragraph 116)

Working Group on Biochemical and Molecular Techniques, and DNA-Profiling in Particular (BMT)

The Council at its twenty-sixth ordinary session, on October 29, 1992 agreed to establish the Working Group on Biochemical and Molecular Techniques, DNA-Profiling in Particular (BMT).

Document C/26/15 Report of the twenty-sixth ordinary session of the Council, Geneva, October 29, 1992 (paragraph 27)

The TC at its thirty-eighth session, from April 15 to 17, 2002 agreed the future role of the BMT as follows:

The BMT is a group open to DUS experts, biochemical and molecular specialists and plant breeders, whose role is to:

(i) Review general developments in biochemical and molecular techniques;

(ii) Maintain an awareness of relevant applications of biochemical and molecular techniques in plant breeding;

(iii) Consider the possible application of biochemical and molecular techniques in DUS testing and report its considerations to the TC;

(iv) If appropriate, establish guidelines for biochemical and molecular methodologies and their harmonization and, in particular, contribute to the preparation of document TGP/15, “New Types of Characteristics.” These guidelines to be developed in conjunction with the Technical Working Parties;

(v) Consider initiatives from TWPs, for the establishment of crop specific subgroups, taking into account available information and the need for biochemical and molecular methods;

(vi) Develop guidelines regarding the management and harmonization of databases of biochemical and molecular information, in conjunction with the TWC;

(vii) Receive reports from Crop Subgroups and the BMT Review Group;

(viii) Provide a forum for discussion on the use of biochemical and molecular techniques in the consideration of essential derivation and variety identification.

Document TC/38/16 Report of the thirty-eighth session of the TC, Geneva, April 15 to 17, 2002 (paragraph 204)

Ad hoc subgroup of technical and legal experts on biochemical and molecular techniques (BMT Review Group)

The Technical Committee (TC) at its thirty sixth session, from April 3 to 5, 2000, “agreed to the creation of the Ad hoc Crop Subgroups proposed by the Working Group on Biochemical and Molecular Techniques, DNA-Profiling in Particular (BMT) and asked the Office of the Union to take action and to contact the Chairmen of the Administrative and Legal Committee (CAJ) and BMT concerning the possibility of creating another subgroup formed by legal and technical experts (BMT Review Group).”

Document TC/36/11 Report of the thirty sixth session of the TC, Geneva, April 3 to 5, 2000 (paragraph 123)

The CAJ at its forty-second session, on October 23 and 24, 2000, agreed to the establishment of the BMT Review Group.

Document CAJ/42/7 Report of the forty-second session of the CAJ, Geneva, October 23 and 24, 2000 (paragraph 49)

The CAJ at its forty-third session, held in Geneva on April 5, 2001, agreed to the terms of reference of the BMT Review Group.

1. The BMT Review Group should assess possible application models proposed by the Technical Committee, on the basis of the work of the BMT and crop subgroups, for the utilization of biochemical and molecular techniques in the examination of Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability in relation to the following:

(a) conformity with the UPOV Convention, and

(b) potential impact on the strength of protection compared to that provided by current examination methods and advise if this could undermine the effectiveness of protection offered under the UPOV system.

2. In conducting its assessment, the BMT Review Group may refer specific aspects to the Administrative and Legal Committee or the Technical Committee for clarification or further information as considered appropriate.

3. The BMT Review Group will report its assessment, as set out in paragraph 1 above, to the Administrative and Legal Committee, but this assessment will not be binding for the position of the Administrative and Legal Committee.

Document CAJ/43/8 Report of the forty-third session of the CAJ, Geneva, April 5, 2001 (paragraph 58) and working document CAJ/43/3 (paragraph 2)

Ad hoc subgroups on molecular techniques (crop subgroups)

The Technical Committee (TC) at its thirty sixth session, from April 3 to 5, 2000, “agreed to the creation of the Ad hoc Crop Subgroups proposed by the Working Group on Biochemical and Molecular Techniques, DNA-Profiling in Particular (BMT) and asked the Office of the Union to take action and to contact the Chairmen of the Administrative and Legal Committee (CAJ) and BMT concerning the possibility of creating another subgroup formed by legal and technical experts (BMT Review Group).”

Document TC/36/11 Report of the thirty sixth session of the TC, Geneva, April 3 to 5, 2000 (paragraph 123)

“23 [At its sixth session, held in Angers, France from March 1 to 3, 2000] The BMT agreed that real progress could not be expected without intensive discussion in small groups on specific species. It therefore decided to propose establishing ad hoc crop subgroups during the eighteen month interval until the next session to make real progress in discussions on possibilities and consequences of the introduction of molecular techniques in DUS testing, the management of reference collection and the judgement of essential derivation.

“24. The BMT discussed the role of ad hoc crop subgroups and its relationship with the Technical Working Parties. It agreed that testing experts in the Technical Working Party should be involved with the discussion in the ad hoc crop subgroups. It also agreed that the chairmen of the ad hoc crop subgroups should be chosen from experts in the Technical Working Party in question. The role of the ad hoc crop subgroups would not be to make any decisions, but to prepare documents that could be a basis of further discussions in the BMT, the Technical Working Parties and the Technical Committee. The BMT confirmed that the Technical Working Parties should be the decision-making bodies for the introduction of new characteristics into DUS testing for each species.
[…]

“26. The BMT discussed the selection of species for the subgroups. A majority of experts supported two criteria, (i) the need for the introduction of molecular techniques in DUS testing (species for which a limited number of characteristics are available and species which urgently need effective methods for the management of reference collection) and (ii) the availability of DNA profiling data and on-going studies.”

Working document TC/36/3 Add. (paragraphs 23, 24 and 26)

Extract from document TC/36/3 Add.

At its forty third session, held in Geneva, from March 26 to 28, 2007, the TC agreed to invite the Crop Subgroups to develop proposals concerning the possible use of molecular tools for variety identification in relation to the enforcement of plant breeders’ rights, technical verification and the consideration of essential derivation.

Document TC/43/12

Other

“The Council may set up permanent or temporary committees to prepare its work or to examine technical, legal or any other questions of interest to UPOV.”

UPOV/INF/7 Rule 36 of the Rules of Procedure of the Council

pdf, UPOV Structure: BMTUPOV Structure: Biochemical and Molecular Techniques

Top of page