Workshops & Webinars on IP for Plants


What is The CIOPORA Academy?

The CIOPORA Academy is a specialized international education program on IP for plants tailored to the needs of the green sector. The formats include small-group workshops held several times a year in different locations across the world and live webinars. Our lecturers are renowned IP experts and experienced legal practitioners.

Who should enroll?

The CIOPORA Academy offers workshops and webinars for breeders, propagators, growers, traders active in horticulture, as well as students of agricultural and horticultural specializations. Our workshops may also be beneficial for IPR managers, IP lawyers, in-house counsels and patent attorneys looking to expand their expertise in the unique area of plant IP.

What will I learn?

The CIOPORA Academy combines learning and networking. It encompasses all areas of IP Protection relevant to players of the green business, including but not limited to Plant Breeders’ Rights (PBR), Plant Patents, Patents for plant-related inventions, and Trademarks for plant products. The webinars are broadcasted live with two sessions each to accommodate all time zones.

What is the cost?

Workshop and webinar fees vary and depend on topics, location and the number of modules offered in each workshop/webinar. CIOPORA members and supporters enjoy 50% discount on all regular rates. The program also offers up to 70% discounts for enrolled students. Students: please reach out to us for more information!

Featured Speakers
Stephany G. Small, Ph.D.

Stephany G. Small, Ph.D.

Patent Agent at Panitch Schwarze, USA

Stephany G. Small, Ph.D., is a Patent Agent at CIOPORA lawyer member Panitch Schwarze Belisario & Nadel LLP (USA). Stephany works with clients ranging from large life science companies to individual inventors to protect their valued Intellectual Property. She prepares and prosecutes the U.S. and foreign patent applications for inventions related to all aspects of life science. She is involved in FDA Orange Book submissions and Patent Term Extension Applications and also assists clients with preparing opinions relating to patentability and freedom to operate. Stephany collaborates in patent interferences and inter partes review proceedings before the U.S. Patent Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).

Travis Bliss, Ph.D.

Travis Bliss, Ph.D.

Partner at Panitch Schwarze, USA

Dr. Travis Bliss counsels a variety of clients ranging from individual inventors to small businesses to Fortune 500 companies in nearly all aspects of Intellectual Property law. Travis prepares and prosecutes patent applications; litigates patent, Trademark, and other IP disputes in federal and state courts; represents clients before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patent Trial and Appeal Board; counsels clients in a variety of IP issues, including due diligence, FTO, infringement, and patentability; and prepares and negotiates IP licenses. From a technology standpoint, Travis’s practice falls largely within the life sciences field and also includes a large focus on novel plant varieties in the agriculture, horticulture, and cannabis/hemp industries. Travis has been a lawyer member of CIOPORA since 2014.

Rossella Pola

Rossella Pola

Criminal Lawyer, Italy

Rossella Pola obtained her Law Degree at the Università degli Studi di Torino in 2000. In 2003, she was admitted to the Lawyer Register of the City of Turin, followed by her admission to the Counsels for Defense in the Italian Supreme Court in 2017. In relation to Intellectual Property right enforcement, Rossella has recently represented several seed breeding companies (Clause S.p.A and Rijk Zwaan) in a civil action against illegal propagators of their plant varieties.

Nicola Novaro

Nicola Novaro

Attorney & owner at Law Firm Novaro, Italy

Nicola Novaro obtained his Law Degree in 1996 from the University of Pavia. In 2000, he became a lawyer after enrolling at the Law Society of Imperia. During the same year, he obtained a Master’s Degree in Intellectual Property organized by the IP Centre in Verona. Over the past twenty years, Nicola has been representing numerous international breeding companies in filing for Trademark, Plant Variety Right, and industrial designs before national, regional, and international offices. Currently, Nicola manages a portfolio of over 3,000 Trademarks and PVRs.

In the past decade, Nicola has become an expert on PVR and other IP right enforcement in Italy. He has extensive experience in representing clients in IP right-related civil and criminal proceedings before Italian Courts. Nicola also permanently represents CIOPORA in The European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights at EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office).

Dr. Thorben Sprink

Dr. Thorben Sprink

Senior Researcher at Julius Kuehn Institute for Biosafety in Plant Biotechnology
As a Senior Researcher at the Julius Kuehn Institute (Germany), Dr Thorben Sprink leads the Working Group for Genome Editing and Synthetic Biology. In his research activities, Thorben focuses on the development of new technologies for targeted genome modifications, driving research in the area of DNA-free CRISPR/CAS-Technologies and the analysis of the off-target events. Thorben has extensive expertise in the area of New Breeding Techniques regulations. He is a member of the International Society for Biosafety Research.
“The CIOPORA workshop held in August 2019 in St. Charles/Chicago was a great opportunity to meet with companies active in asexually propagated plants and discuss common challenges in the protection of our crops. The topics were timely and relevant. The session on UPOV, Breeder’s Exemption, and U.S. Plant Patent Law was particularly interesting, as it provided real-life examples of the cross-border legal scenarios. Thanks to the CIOPORA team for always putting together a thoughtful and well-run program"
Amy Martin, Driscoll's
Amy Martin
Director Legal Affairs at Driscoll’s, Inc.
"CIOPORA Academy workshop was a great opportunity to learn varying perspectives on plant IP. All topics presented had value as they pertain to my daily work; however, I was particularly interested in the topics on Utility Patents and Plant Variety Protection (PVP) for asexually reproduced plants. Both speakers provided in-depth analysis of the different scope of protections under these two systems. The comfortable atmosphere of the workshops at the Hotel Baker was a wonderful location to network with like-minded colleagues."
Jim R. Holm
Licensing Associate at Florida Foundation Seed Producers, Inc.