New varieties are constantly being developed for higher yields, better agronomic traits like taste, resistance against pest or diseases, tolerance to saline or drought conditions.
These new varieties need to be protected given the fact that substantial investment in terms of skill, labour, resources, money and time is required in the breeding of new varieties.
Varieties of all botanical genera and species, and particularly their hybrids now can be protected under the Plant Variety Protection law.
It is a process by which a plant can be 'controlled' in terms of who propagates it and how many.
Plant Variety Protection (PVP) or otherwise known as Plant Breeders' Rights, is a form of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) which grants breeders of new varieties exclusive rights to exploit their plant varieties for a specific period of time.
In Malaysia, these rights are administered under the Protection of New Plant Varieties (PNPV) Act 2004 and the Protection of New Plant Varieties Regulations 2008 (PNPVR).
Duration Of Protection:
The grant of protection can last for 20 years for a registered plant variety that is new, distinct, uniform and stable.The grant of protection can last for 15 years for a registered plant variety that is new, distinct and identifiable.
Where an application is made with respect of tree or vines, the Board may register the plant variety and grant breeder's right for a duration of 25 years.
To apply for PVP, the candidate plant variety must meet the following criteria:
On another hand, where a plant variety is bred, or discovered and developed by a farmer, local community or indigenous people, the plant may be registered as a new plant variety and granted a breeder right if the plant variety is new, distinct and identifiable.
A mere discovery or find would not entitle the person to protection. Development is necessary.
What Is An Identifiable Plant Variety?The variety is considered "identifiable" if it can be distinguished from any other plant grouping by the expression of one characteristic and the characteristic is identifiable within individual plants or within and across a group of plants.
Under the plant variety protection system, protection is extended to:
Essentially Derived Variety
One that is distinguishable from the initial variety, but that retains the essential characteristics of the initial variety.
Take, for example, a new apple variety developed from an existing variety.
If the new variety differs from the existing variety only in cosmetic features such as leaf colour or shape, but produces fruit that is identical in shape, colour and taste to that of the existing variety, it may be considered an essentially derived variety.
The rights conferred do not apply to: