UPOV's Data Privacy Notice

Ensuring the privacy of your Personal Data is of the utmost significance for the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV).

The processing of your Personal Data by UPOV through its website and online services and products is subject to the following Data Privacy Notice (hereafter referred to as

1. Definitions

1.1 UPOV is an intergovernmental organization with its headquarters located in Geneva, Switzerland, whose mission is to provide and promote an effective system of plant variety protection, with the aim of encouraging the development of new varieties of plants, for the benefit of society.

1.2 "Personal Data” refers to information in electronic or any other form that can be used, directly or indirectly, to uniquely identify, contact, or locate an individual (natural person).

1.3 “Data Subject” refers to an individual whose Personal Data is subject to processing by, on or behalf of, UPOV.

1.4 “Data Processing” refers to collection, recording, storage, use, sharing, retention, archiving and destruction of Personal Data.

2. Introduction

2.1 In the course of its work and activities, UPOV may process some of your Personal Data. In alignment with United Nations Personal Data Protection and Privacy principles as well as international best practices, UPOV ensures a general policy of openness towards Data Subjects with respect to the processing of their Personal Data and will ensure that such data is appropriately protected.

2.2 In this regard, this Notice is intended to help you understand what Personal Data we collect, why we collect it, how we use and secure it, your rights on your Personal Data and how these rights can be exercised.

3. Scope

This Notice covers the processing of Personal Data by UPOV through its website and other online services and products.

4. What Personal Data do we process

Personal Data you provide to us

4.1 When accessing UPOV's website and other online services and products, UPOV may process Personal Data in the course of the use and delivery of these services and products (e.g. WIPO Account, IP Portal, , UPOV contact form, UPOV conference registration, etc.). The Personal Data processed may, among others, include your first and last name, postal address, phone number and email address.

4.2 Furthermore, specific types of Personal Data may be processed by UPOV in order to facilitate and support the delivery of UPOV services, products and operations. Examples include Identity Documents for physical and online access to various services and products as well as travel and conference support, banking information to facilitate payments, applicant CVs for recruitment, etc.

Personal Data we collect by automated means

4.3 By accessing UPOV’s website and other online services and products, certain information such as Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, browsing behavior (e.g. web pages visited, browser used, connection time and duration, etc.) may be processed by UPOV.

4.4 Furthermore, UPOV’s website and other online services and products may use cookies to optimize functionality and improve user experience. For more details, refer to Section 5 on cookies.

5. How we use cookies

5.1 UPOV's website and its online services and products use cookies1 to offer an improved browsing experience, including features such as authentication, language settings, as well as continuous enhancement of UPOV's services and products. For the latter purpose, UPOV may also use various web analytics tools to collect, among others, the WIPO account username (for logged-in users), IP address, UPOV websites visited, the time, duration and date of the visit.

5.2 The information collected via cookies and analytics tools is used in an aggregated and anonymous manner for statistical purposes, and not to identify individual users.

5.3 You may disable cookies that are not deemed as strictly necessary at any time and/or make changes with regard to the acceptance, rejection and deletion of cookies. This may however render certain features of UPOV's website and online services and products unavailable.

6. Why we collect this Personal Data

6.1 UPOV processes Personal Data to fulfill its objectives and functions as stipulated in the Convention establishing UPOV. These objectives and functions consist, among others, of promoting the protection of intellectual property worldwide, maintaining services facilitating its protection and assembling as well as disseminating information concerning its protection.

6.2 UPOV processes Personal Data to maintain daily operations (such as customer registration and support, payments, conferences and travel management, systems administration, etc.), to reply to requests and to improve its services and products. For instance, UPOV may contact you regarding your account status, to confirm your registration to an event or to advise you of changes to a service.

6.3 Using the Data Subjects e-mail addresses, UPOV may periodically send information, survey requests or promotional e-mails about services, products, events, webinars or publications provided by UPOV. Upon request, Data Subjects may "opt out" of further e-mail contact (except for notifications required for the use and delivery of the service or product).

7. How we use your Personal Data

Personal Data is processed by UPOV in a fair and legitimate manner, for the sole purpose of providing and improving its services and products as well as meeting its obligations. Under no circumstances, is Personal Data used for any other incompatible purpose.

8. How long we store Personal Data

Personal Data is only retained for the time that is necessary to achieve the purpose for which it was collected. When we no longer need Personal Data, we will remove and securely destroy it from our systems and/or take steps to anonymize it.

9. With whom we might share Personal Data

9.1 In some cases, UPOV may share Personal Data with third party service providers for the purpose of providing UPOV services and products and to facilitate UPOV’s legitimate interests. These service providers will only be granted access to the Personal Data deemed as reasonably necessary for the purpose for which they have been engaged.

9.2 UPOV does not sell or otherwise disclose Personal Data collected except as described in this Notice.

10. How we keep Personal Data secure

10.1 Appropriate physical, technical and administrative controls are implemented by UPOV to secure your Personal Data from threats such as unauthorized or accidental access, damage, or loss.

10.2 In cases where the Personal Data is transferred to a third party, UPOV will ensure that the third party provides sufficient guarantees to implement appropriate technical and organizational measures to ensure sufficient protection for the Personal Data.

11. Your rights on your Personal Data

11.1 UPOV ensures a general policy of transparency in regard to the processing of Personal Data, as appropriate.

11.2 As a Data Subject, you may request to access to your Personal Data, object to its processing or request its correction or deletion. Such a request must be submitted to UPOV in written form, in one of UPOV’s working languages, and include sufficient information to support the claim. UPOV may take reasonable measures to validate the identity or authority of the individual making a Data Subject request.

11.3 Upon receipt of a Data Subject request, UPOV will review it and will make reasonable efforts to respond to the request in a timely manner. Please be aware that the request may be rejected, in whole or in part, on one of the following grounds:

  • the request is manifestly abusive or fraudulent or obstructive to the purpose of processing;
  • complying with the request proves to be impossible, inappropriate, or would involve a disproportionate effort;
  • the request is in conflict with the overriding operational needs and priorities of UPOV in pursuing its mandate;
  • the processing of the Personal Data is necessary for archiving or statistical purposes, or to protect the interests of the Data Subject;
  • the processing of the Personal Data is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the exercise of official authority vested in UPOV;
  • the processing of the Personal Data is necessary for the compliance with a legal obligation or the exercise or defense of legal claims.

11.4 Should you wish to submit a request regarding the processing of your Personal Data, you may contact us at upov.mail@upov.int.

12. Privileges and immunities

Nothing in or relating to this Notice shall be deemed a waiver of any privileges and immunities of UPOV as an international organization.

13. Settlement of disputes

Any dispute between UPOV and the Data Subject arising out of or relating to this Notice that cannot be resolved amicably shall be referred to arbitration in accordance with the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules then in force. UPOV and the Data Subject shall be bound by any arbitration award rendered as a result of such arbitration as the final adjudication of such a dispute. Notwithstanding the aforementioned, any dispute between UPOV and the Data Subject having the status of UPOV staff member shall be resolved in accordance with the Staff Regulations and Rules and related administrative issuances.

14. Modifications to this Notice

UPOV may modify this Notice at any time at its sole discretion. Any modifications will be published on UPOV’s website. Unless stated otherwise, modifications shall take effect immediately following publication.

15. Contact information

For further information on the processing of Personal Data by UPOV, you may contact UPOV at e-mail: upov.mail@upov.int.

Last Updated: February 26, 2024

1Cookies are small files sent from a web server and stored on a user's device (computer or mobile phone) to collect viitor behavior information. They allow websites to remember the device, browser preferences, and associated online activity.

Top of page