Abbreviation for the intergovernmental association "Union internationale pour la Protection des Obtentions Végétales" (International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants). It was founded in 1961 with its headquarters in Geneva. UPOV's objective is to protect new plant varieties (agricultural crops, vegetables, fruit, ornamental plants and woody plants) as intellectual property, thus guaranteeing breeders exclusive ownership of their variety and thus enabling financially secure breeding and further development in the field of plant varieties. Of course, this also includes the grapes, or in detail the different grape varieties.
UPOV offers assistance in establishing and maintaining a functioning system of plant variety protection within the individual member states and is concerned with the promotion of international cooperation. Its activities focus on the international harmonization of testing procedures from the application for a variety to the test reports and the botanical variety description. At the end of 2013, 70 countries from all continents were members. In 2005, the EU was the first intergovernmental organisation to become the 59th member. Matters relating to European plant variety protection are regulated by the CPVO (Community Plant Variety Office), the competent EU plant variety office, based in Angers, France.