Plant Breeders Rights

Plant breeder’s rights protect any new variety of plants, including garden plants, fruits and vegetables and plants used in the agricultural sector.

In order to be granted protection, an application has to be made to the Plant Variety Rights Office, and demonstrate that the plant is distinct, uniform, stable, and novel. In addition the plant must be given an approved name.

Once protection has been granted, the proprietor can prevent unauthorised reproduction, conditioning, selling or offering for sale, exporting, importing or stocking of that variety.

As usual with intellectual property, any of these acts done for private or non-commercial purposes are not an infringement.

The proprietor of the right will be the breeder of the new variety. However, if an employee in the usual course of his employment did the breeding, unless the employment contract states otherwise, the right will belong to the company. Nevertheless, the breeder’s details must be given on the application form.

Plant breeders’ rights last for a period of twenty-five years from date of grant of the right, with the exception of trees, vines and potatoes whose period of protection lasts for 30 years from the date of grant.