The EU Council of Ministers has adopted a Regulation harmonizing the duration of industrial property rights in respect of plant protection products such as insecticides, fungicides and herbicides. Mr. Mario Monti, Commissioner responsible for the single market, welcomed the Regulation, saying that it would make a useful contribution to an EU legislative framework for high technology industries. He emphasized that ensuring a high level of protection for the results of research and development in high technology industries was crucial for encouraging investment in technologies of the future in the EU. The Regulation provides for a supplementary protection certificate, which will safeguard rights in respect of plant protection products for a further five years after the expiry of the patent covering them. In the area of plant protection products, the delay between patent application and the product going on the market is, on average, ten years. Therefore this supplementary period of five years means an effective increase of 50% in the length of the protected time.