A Plant Variety represents a defined group of plants from which an improved variety is obtained by means of elaborate selection and research work.
Improved varieties aim at higher crop yields, greater tolerance to environmental stresses (salinity, extreme temperatures, drought), resistance to viruses, fungi and bacteria, as well as being able to cope with pests under better conditions.
There is an international system of Intellectual Property rights that protects the rights of improved Plant Varieties, also called plant breeders, and promotes innovation in agriculture. This system is administered by the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV).
The term of protection of Plant Varieties or Obtainments is 25 years, but in the case of vine varieties and tree species it is extended to 30 years, in both cases from the year in which protection is granted.