Plant Variety Protection

Intellectual Property Rights

Plant Variety Protection

Plant variety protection is granted to plant breeders for the sake of providing commercial exclusivity and recognition for a limited period. We advise on and handle all the matters related to plant variety protection in India.

We provide services including filing and prosecution of plant varieties in India and also, cater to services related to the protection of rights of breeders as prescribed under the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001.

Our Attorneys represent clients before the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority to seek registration under the applicable laws.

The team of Technical Experts and Attorneys is committed to provide protection and commercialization strategies related to maintenance and innovation of new plant varieties.

Plant Variety Protection FAQ's

India adopted the sui generis system by enactment of The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPV&FR) Act, 2001, to provide an effective and efficient system for the protection of Plant Varieties, the rights of Farmers & Breeders and to encourage the development of new varieties of plants.

The principal objectives of the PPV&FR Act, 2001 are follows:

  • To establish an effective system for the protection of Plant Varieties, the rights of Farmers & Breeders and to encourage the development of new varieties of plants;
  • To recognize and protect the rights of Farmers in respect of their contributions made at any time in conserving, improving and making available plant genetic resources for the development of new Plant Varieties;
  • To accelerate agricultural development in the country and to protect Breeders’ rights;
  • To stimulate investment for research & development both in public and private sector for the development of new Plant Varieties;
  • Facilitate the growth of seed industry in the country which will ensure the availability of high quality seeds and planting material to the Farmers;
  • To recognize the contribution of both Breeders & Farmers in plant breeding activity;
  • To implement TRIPs in a way that supports the specific socio-economic interests of all the stakeholders including private, public sectors and research institutions, as well as resource-constrained Farmers.

Breeders’ have exclusive rights to produce, sell, market, distribute, import or export the protected variety. Breeder can appoint agent/licensee and may exercise for civil remedy in case of infringement of rights.

The following rights vests with Researchers’ under the PPV&FR Act, 2001:

  • Use of any variety registered under the PPV&FR Act 2001 for conducting experiment or research.
  • Use of a variety as an initial source of variety for the purpose of creating another variety.

However, in case of repeated use of such variety, the authorization of the registered Breeder is required.

The following rights vest with Framers’ under the PPV&FR Act 2001:

  • A Farmer who has evolved or developed a new variety is entitled for registration and protection in like manner as a Breeder of a variety;
  • Farmers variety can also be registered as an extant variety;
  • Farmers engaged in the conservation of genetic resources of land races and wild relatives of economic plants are entitled for recognition and reward;
  • Farmers can save, use, sow, re-sow, exchange, share or sell his farm produce including seed of a variety protected under the PPV&FR Act 2001 in the same manner as he was entitled before the coming into force the PPV&FR Act 2001;
  • Farmers can claim compensation on non-performance of variety;
  • Farmers would not be liable to pay any fee in any proceeding before the Authority or Registrar or the Tribunal or the High Court under the Act.

The New Varieties, Essentially Derived Varieties (EDV), Extant Varieties and Farmer’s Varieties can be registered, provided the variety must conform to the criteria of Distinctiveness, Uniformity and Stability (DUS) and should also have a single and distinct denomination.

In accordance to the PPV&FR Act 2001, the following varieties are not registrable:

  • 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;
  • No variety of any genera or species which involves any technology which is injurious to the life or health of human beings, animals or plants shall be registered under this PPV&FR Act 2001.

Guidelines for the Conduct of test for Distinctiveness, Uniformity and Stability (Crop Guidelines) has been issued by the PPV&FR Authority and can be accessed here.

The information with respect to the DUS Test Centres, identified by the PPV&FR Authority, can be accessed at: DUS Centres

The certificate of registration is valid for nine years in the case of tree and vines and six years for other crops and may be renewed for remaining period on payment of prescribed fee. The total period of validity of certificate of registration would not exceed 18 years in case of trees and vines and 15 years in case of other crops, from the date of registration of the variety.

Any person within three months from the date of the advertisement of an application for registration, can file opposition to the registration of a variety, to the Registrar.

The opposition to the registration under the PPV&FR Act 2001 can be filed based on any of the following grounds:

  • The person opposing the application is entitled to the Breeder’s right as against the Applicant; or
  • The variety is not registrable under PPV&FR Act 2001; or
  • The grant of certificate of registration may not be in public interest; or
  • The variety may have adverse effect on the environment.

Any person interested may file application for revocation based on the following grounds:

  • The registration certificate has been obtained based on incorrect information furnished by the Applicant;
  • The registration certificate has been granted to a person, not eligible for protection under the PPV&FR Act 2001;
  • The Breeder has not provided requisite and sufficient information, documents or material for registration;
  • The Breeder has failed to provide an appropriate denomination of the variety;
  • The Breeder has not provided the necessary seeds or propagating material to the person to whom compulsory licence has been issued;
  • The Breeder has not complied with the statutory requirements stated under the PPV&FR Act 2001;
  • The Breeder has failed to comply with the directions of the PPV&FR Authority issued under the PPV&FR Act 2001;
  • The grant of the certificate of registration is not in the public interest.

The content of the registration certificate are published by PPV&FR Authority and invites claim of benefit sharing to the variety. An application for benefit sharing can be made by following entities in prescribed manner along with applicable fee:

  • Any person or group of persons, if such person or every person constituting such group is a citizen of India; or
  • Firm or governmental or non-governmental organisation, if such firm or organisation is formed or established in India.

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