Collecting royalties at the auction


Another evidence for the fact that the importance for IP is becoming more and more understood is the initiative of the Kunming International Flower Auction Trading Center Co., Ltd. (KIFA).

This auction collects the royalties for rose breeders for over 10 years now. After traveling abroad many times, they reached a cooperation intention with several breeders and established the “Management Measures for the Tripartite Cooperation of New Varieties” in 2006.

With this method, KIFA is the connection between growers, and works as follows: after new varieties enter the country, they obtain patent certificates in China, they authorize the growers to produce, and the finished products are traded through the KIFA platform. Depending on the variety, the breeder receives 5% – 10% of the yield, which is then handed over by KIFA. “A new service mechanism for the whole chain from introduction, trial planting, planting, technical guidance and marketing has been formed”, the auction says.

Since 2013, this model has achieved remarkable results and by the end of 2018, 156 new foreign patent varieties and 27 domestic patent varieties were introduced to the Chinese market. In 2018 alone, the patent fee charged by this auction reached more than 14 million. “And there are more international breeders ready to join, which has enabled the latest popular varieties in the international market to enter China, which has effectively promoted the upgrading of flower varieties in our province and enhance the competitiveness of “Yunhua” in the international arena.”

Currently, this method is only used for roses, but it is not excluded that other varieties can also collect variety rights in this way.

Good hopes for the future
All in all, most breeders have good hope that the illegal propagation in the high-quality and professional part of the ornamental industry will decrease in the future. “When the trade gets used to the higher quality of the legally propagated products, the demand for unreliable production methods will decrease”, says Nederlof. And According to him, it is possible to convince the retail to only buy “legal” material. “E-commerce is a growing industry for the private market. This requires high-quality products and production methods.”

“However, we need to understand that China is a really big country and we have a lot of small growers around”, says Chang. “Therefore, it will take time and it will be very hard to cover every part of China and cover every person just by some laws. So, how to protect the breeders’ rights step by step and take practical and effective action is very important. For example, the big growers or big influencers must have the sense to follow the laws, and the government public project should be against the use of illegal propagation material/plants.

Author: Elita Vellekoop


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