Plant variety protection provides legal protection of a plant variety to a breeder in the form of Plant Breeder’s Rights (PBRs). PBRs are intellectual property rights that provide exclusive rights to a breeder of the registered variety. In India, the Plant Variety Protection And Farmers Rights (PPVFR) Act, 2001 is a sui generis system that aims to provide for the establishment of an effective system for protection of plant varieties and the rights of plant breeders and farmers.
A certificate of registration for a variety issued under this Act confers an exclusive right on the breeder or his successor, his agent or licensee, to produce, sell, market, distribute, import or export the variety. Application for registration of plant varieties can be made in the office of Registrar, PPV & FRA, New Delhi.
Registrable Plant Varieties in India
The following types of plant varieties can be registered under PPVFR Act, 2001:
- New varieties
- Extant variety
- Farmers’ variety
- Essentially derived variety
A new variety shall be registered under PPVFR Act, 2001 if it conforms to the criteria of novelty, distinctiveness, uniformity and stability.
Non- Registrable Plant Varieties in India
The following types of plant varieties cannot be registered under the PPVFR Act, 2001:
- Any variety where prevention of commercial exploitation of such variety is necessary to protect public order or public morality or human, animal and plant life and health or to avoid serious prejudice to the environment.
- Any varieties that involves any technology which is injurious to the life or health of human beings, animals or plants. The expression “any technology” includes genetic use restriction technology and terminator technology.
- Variety belonging to the species or genera which is not listed in the notification issued by the Central Government.
Duration of Protection for a Registered Variety
- Trees and vines – 18 years from the date of registration of the variety.
- Extant varieties – 15 years from the date of notification of that variety by the Central Government under Seed Act, 1966.
- Other crops – 15 years fifteen years from the date of registration of the variety.
- Advising and assisting clients in determining the availability of a variety for registration, seeking clearance from Plant Variety Registry, searches in the Official Journal of Plant Varieties, denomination clearance, fulfillment of registrability criteria
- Gene and protein sequence searches
- Filing notices of opposition/cancellation against any application/registration of infringing varieties on behalf of our clients
- Assisting clients in enforcement of their rights in their registered plant varieties
- Assisting clients in research and commercialization of registered plant varieties
- Advising clients on various matters pertaining to plant variety protection