Variety Development & IP Management


At SAPO Trust we offer a full suite of IP management services spanning from the importation through testing of varieties to commercialization of trees and vines. Royalty collection, intellectual property management expertise and contract management services are provided to our global network of clients.

An independent IP Management Service with a footprint industry-wide

At SAPO Trust we recognize the fundamental value in the intellectual property of varieties and strive to assist with the protection thereof. Our focus is on discovering and unlocking the potential of all products managed by SAPO Trust. The VDIP business unit specializes in assisting breeders with protecting their intellectual property through predominantly plant breedersā€™ rights. We are also able to provide advice on other methods of intellectual property protection including patents, designs, and trade marks.

Scope of Services

We have a combined total of more than 8 years of experience in the legal field with a strong focus on intellectual property & legal administration and 20 years of experience in horticulture and various aspects of fruit production. More specifically, our team has a diverse and complementary skillset comprising of molecular and physiological skills in fruit production, fruit evaluations, establishment & monitoring of fresh fruit quality standards as well as plant breedersā€™ rights, patent & design prosecution, and contract & trade mark administration.Ā 
We also have exceptional interpersonal communication skills and have fostered strong relationships with The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (previously known as The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries).

The VDIP unit provides various services including:

  • Registration of plant breeders’ rights, variety listing and maintenance thereof;
  • Importation of plant material;
  • Management of intellectual property (contracts administration, collection of tree and production royalties and trade mark responsibilities);
  • Marketing and promotions of varieties;
  • Liaison and support to internal and external stakeholders;
  • Co-ordinate technical evaluation of new selections;
  • Full horticultural evaluation per prescribed protocols;
  • Professional storage trials and displaying of new fruit varieties on fruit exhibitions.