Everything you need to know about plant breeders right !
Q. 1. What are Plant Breeders’ Rights?
Ans. The Plant Breeders’ Rights programme was first established in 1987 under the Plant Variety Rights Act (PVRA), which was succeeded by the current- Plant Breeders’ Rights Act 1994. (PBRA). Plant breeders’ rights (PBR), also known as plant variety rights (PVR), are intellectual property rights granted to the breeder of a new variety of plant.
Plant Breeders Rights are granted to novel plant varieties that are distinctive, uniform, and stable (e.g., cultivars breed true-to-type for desired traits). The legal protection of a new plant variety is granted to the breeder or his successor. The effect of PBR is that prior authorization is required before the material can be used for commercial purposes.
Q. 2. What is the procedure for Registration of Plant Breeders’ Rights?
Ans. Registration is essential to get legal rights. There is no protection without registration.
The registration consists of following steps:
(i) Filing application in the prescribed form,
(ii) Payment of prescribed processing fee along with application. The registration fee varies from country to country. In USA, after registration annual renewal fee (300 Dollars) is payable.
(iii) Examination of the application by the experts,
(iv) Issue of protection certificate, if application if found to meet the desired requirements, and
(v) Normally the registration takes about 2.5 years for most of the species takes 2.5 years.
Q. 3. What is the Duration for protection of Plant Breeders’ Rights?
Ans. The period of protection varies with plant species. The protection is provided for a definite period.
The duration of protection for different plant species is as follows:
(i) For Trees and Vines: Initially for nine years and maximum for 18 years.
(ii) For extant varieties: Initially six years and maximum for 15 years from the date registration of the variety.
(iii) In other cases: Initially six years and maximum for 15 years from the date registration of the variety.
Thus breeders’ rights allow plant breeders to get benefit of their variety for a limited period. When the PER period is over, the variety reverts to the public domain and is available to everybody. The limited duration of Plant Breeders’ Rights ensure a balance between private and public interest.
Q. 4. What is the Validity of PBRs?
Ans. The protection of the Plant Breeders’ Rights is valid only in the country where it has been registered. The protection in other countries can be obtained by filling separate application in each country.
Q. 5. What is the Matters Covered by Plant Breeders’ Rights?
Ans. The protection right can be granted for varieties of all botanical genera and species. The variety should have a designation (name) as per the rule of International Code of Nomenclature.
Q. 6. What are the Requirements for protection of Plant Breeders’ Rights?
Ans. There are four basic requirements for protection of a variety under PBR, viz.:
(iii) Uniformity, and
Q. 7. Is it possible to Transfer Plant Breeders’ Rights?
Ans. An authorized plant breeder has right to authorize other interested persons for commercial production and marketing of his variety on royalty basis.
Q. 8. Who has Control over the Plant Breeders’ Rights?
Ans. The authorized plant breeder has right to prevent other from commercial production and marketing of his variety without permission.
Q. 9. When does the Plant Breeders’ Rights become effective?
Ans. The Plant Breeders’ Rights come into force immediately after registration of the variety.
Q. 10. To whom plant breeders’ rights are granted?
Ans. BPR can be granted only to breeder or legal owner of a new variety.
Q. 11. What is protected by plant breeders’ rights?
Ans. The plant breeders ‘rights protect the variety but not the standard breeding procedures that are used to develop new variety.
Q. 12. What is the purpose of plant breeders’ rights?
Ans. The main purpose of PBR is to encourage breeders to develop better plant varieties. The PBRs provide monopoly of new varieties to breeders for a limited period.
Q. 13. Can the same variety be patented and protected by plant breeders’ rights?
Ans. Yes, the same variety can be patented and protected by PBR. The gene technology or gene sequences can be patented and the end product that is the plant variety can be protected under PBR.
Q. 14. What are the Requirements for protection of plant breeders’ rights?
Ans. The PBR cannot be granted to any variety. There are four basic requirements for protection of a variety under Plant Breeders’ Rights.
(iii) Uniformity, and
Q. 15. What do you mean by Novelty?
Ans. It refers to newness of a variety .The variety should be new and should not have been commercially cultivated for more than one year before granting protection under PBR. In other words, there should not be a prior safe for more than one year.
Q. 16. What is distinctiveness?
Ans. The new variety must be distinguishable in one or more morphological, quality or other character from previously available varieties. When a variety differ atleast in one characteristic from varieties of common knowledge, it is known as distinct.
Q. 17. Define Uniformity.
Ans. The variety should be uniform. In other words, all plants in a variety should look alike.
Q. 18. What is stability?
Ans. The stability should give stable performance in different generations. All these attributes are determined by grow out test.
Q. 19. What are the Rights provided to the breeder of a new variety?
Ans. The Plant Breeders’ Rights Act provides plant breeders the exclusive right to produce and sell new plant varieties which they have developed. In other words, it provides exclusive rights to the breeder for commercial production and marketing of his variety.
The important Plant Breeders’ Rights are as follows:
(i) Rights for Commercial Seed Production:
PBR provide legal right to the breeder of a variety for large scale seed production. This he can do either on his own farm or on the farms of authorized farmers on payment basis.
(ii) Rights for Marketing:
The breeder or owner of a variety has exclusive rights to regulate marketing of his variety.
(iii) Rights to Export and Import:
The breeder or owner of a variety has full rights to regulate export and import of his or her variety.
(iv) Rights of Authorization:
The breeder or owner of a protected variety has rights to authorize other interested persons for commercial production, and marketing, export and import of his variety. However, prior authorization of the breeder or owner of a variety is required for such purpose.
(v) Rights to Prevent Infringement:
The breeder or owner of a variety has rights to prevent others from unauthorized commercial production and marketing of his variety.
Q. 20. What is Infringement of plant breeders’ rights?
Ans. Unauthorized production and marketing of a registered variety by other person, amounts to infringement. The owner has the right to take legal action against the infringer and claim damages. The PBR Authority may initiate legal action against a person who is involved in the infringement of a protected plant variety.
The Authority can recover both damages and profits from such person. The Plant Breeders’ Act (PBRA) provides for heavy penalties against infringement of the breeders’ right. In USA it 55,00 Dollars for individuals and 275000 Dollars for companies.
Q. 21. What are exemptions of Plant Breeders’ Rights Act?
Ans. The Plant Breeders’ Rights Act provides two exemptions viz.:
(i) Breeders’ exemptions and
(ii) Farmers’ exemptions.
Q. 22. What do you mean by Breeders’ Exemptions?
Ans. The legal rights that are provided to plant breeders to use protected material for further research refer to breeders’ exemptions. Breeders’ exemptions are also called research exemptions or breeders’ privilege. The UPOY Act 1978 provides Breeders’ exemptions. However, the Act.1991 has curtailed & breeders’ Exemptions.
Q. 23. What are Farmers’ Exemptions?
Ans. The legal rights that are provided to farmers to save, use, exchange, share or sell his farm produce of a protected variety are known as farmers’ exemptions. Farmers’ exemptions are also called Farmers’ Rights or Farmers privilege. Here the sale is restricted to non-commercial sale. The UPOV Act 1978 provided farmers Exemptions, however, these exemptions were curtailed by UPOV Act 1991. Because of these reasons, UPOV Act is not accepted by many countries.
Q. 24. What are Advantages of plant breeders’ rights?
Ans. There are several advantages of plant breeders’ rights which are listed below:
i. Breeders get benefit of their variety.
ii. PBR helps in faster development of seed industry.
iii. PBR leads to improvement in quality because of competition.
iv. PBR is useful in procurement of good material on payment basis.
v. PBR helps in enrichment of genetic resources.
Q. 25. What are Disadvantages of plant breeders’ rights?
Ans. There are some disadvantages of plant breeders’ rights which are listed below:
i. It will promote monopoly,
ii. It will encourage unhealthy practices.
iii. It may lead to increase in prices.
iv. There will be reduction in genetic variability.
v. There will be compulsion to purchase fresh seed every year.