Seed World

New Website Promotes Plant Breeding Innovation

Seed specialist KWS recently launched “TraitWay,” a website that provides information about available native traits, in addition to guidance on the process of obtaining a simple license.

The balance of sharing innovation while maintaining adequate intellectual property (IP) protection is essential to continue the development of higher performing plant varieties. KWS believes that plant breeding innovation is crucial to help solve the agricultural challenges felt across the world, including climate change, an increase in food demand and political requirements, according to a release.

“KWS’ long-standing IP position advocates an adequate, future-oriented IP regime that ensures further investment into the continuous development of better performing plant varieties and speeding up innovation in plant breeding. A fair balance between Plant Variety Protection (PVP) and patents is essential to achieve this,” shared Claudia Hallebach, head of global legal and IP for KWS.

In the midst of the ongoing European debate surrounding the patentability of native traits, KWS created “TraitWay” to allow transparency and access to information for KWS’ native traits. Though a catalogue, the patent applications and patents for licensing are available with a standard commercial license agreement.

“KWS supports the development of broader, industry-wide solutions to facilitate access to patented traits via seamless technology transfer in plant breeding,” said Hagen Duenbostel, CEO of KWS. “We are a member of the International Licensing Platform Vegetable (ILP) and a strong driver of the Agricultural Crop Licensing Platform (ACLP), which is currently in the process of launching. We believe that the plant breeding industry needs an open and transparent approach for sharing technology and knowledge to tackle future challenges.”

When a breeder identifies a trait they want to work with on the market, a Breeders License is obtainable to sign free of charge. If a breeder wishes to begin commercial activities with that trait, royalties must be negotiated and agreed upon bilaterally. Through a standard commercial license agreement, varieties featuring the KWS native trait can be sold.

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