What is PBR?
According to Wikipedia, Plant breeders’ rights (PBR), also known as plant variety rights (PVR), are rights granted to the breeder of a new variety of plant that gives the breeder exclusive control over the propagating material (including seed, cuttings, divisions, tissue culture) and harvested material (cut flowers, fruit, foliage) of a new variety for a number of years.
PBR is a complex process, but the important take away is that any material over which PBR has been granted is fully protected by the laws of Australia and severe penalties can be applied to anyone who infringes that legal protection.
What are the criteria for a plant to be eligible for PBR?
A variety must be new, distinct, uniform and stable
NEW – it has not been commercialised for more than one year in the country of protection
DISTINCT – it differs from all other known varieties by one or more important botanical characteristics, such as height, maturity, color, etc.
UNIFORM – the plant characteristics are consistent from plant to plant within the variety
STABLE – the plant characteristics are genetically fixed and therefore remain the same from generation to generation, or after a cycle of reproduction in the case of hybrid varieties
How does someone apply for PBR to protect a new variety?
The average time for Plant breeder’s rights registration is two and a half years. You will need to submit Applications part 1 and part 2 and hire a qualified person (QP) to assist with a growing trial. There are fees at various stages of the process.
Where can you find more information?
The Australian Government has an extensive website that gives you all of the information you need to understand the PBR of varieties within your industry.
Visit Australian Government IP Australia Website