THE BENEFITS OF PLANT PATENTS/BREEDERS RIGHTS FOR LATIN AMERICAN CARNATION GROWERS
First of all, by way of presentation, my name is René Royon. My professional activity is that of an International Licensing and Technology Transfer Consultant and I must say that a fair percentage of my licensing activities are in the field of new plant varieties and biotechnology applied to plants. For the past 30 years I have also been the Secretary General of CIOPORA, the International Association of Breeders of Fruit Trees and Ornamental Plant Varieties and it is in that capacity that I am here to-day to speak about Plant Patents and Plant Breeders' Rights and their benefits for the Carnation Industry.
The carnation industry, just like Horticulture as a whole, has been subjected to two important phenomena:
First it has become truly international. The name of this Symposium as well as the presence here of so many carnation experts, growers, propagators and breeders coming from almost every corner of the world are an eloquent illustration of this phenomenon. New carnation varieties grown here in Colombia have been bred in the USA, in Germany, France, Holland, Italy, Israel, Japan. Cuttings are imported from Holland, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Israel; and the cut flowers produced here are in turn exported to the USA, to Europe and to countries bordering on the Pacific Ocean!
The second phenomenon consists in the increasing importance of innovation concerning both production and growing technologies and new and improved varieties with new colors, forms, physiological characteristics that are trying to better meet the increasingly sophisticated requirements of growers and of specific national or local markets.
And these new technologies, these new varieties are in turn the subject matter of intense research and development efforts and international business transactions because no private firm, no country can afford keeping away from them since such technologies or varieties are likely to affect their productivity and competitiveness.