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Variety Protection Act, 1994.

Type of law

The purpose of the Act is to establish the rules for the granting of variety protection and to secure the protection of the rights of the owner of the protected variety. The Act applies to varieties from genera and species, decreed by the Minister of Agriculture.
The Act provides that in order to be granted protection a variety must be novel, distinct, uniform, stable and designated by a suitable denomination. Foreign natural or legal persons may only apply for the variety protection through a representative. Applications for the protection of a new variety are submitted to the Variety Inspectorate, which carries out the preliminary examination.
In the case of a positive decision of this examination, the the variety may be subjected to tests to ensure eligibility. The variety enjoys provisional protection from the date the application is filed. The Variety Inspectorate grants protection if the variety is shown to meet the conditions of novelty, distinctness, uniformity and stability. In such cases the variety must be registered in the Register of Protected Varieties and a Certificate of Protection is issued by the Variety Inspectorate. A licence from the owner of the protected variety is required to use the seeds of the variety for production and propagation. Seeds and plant material of the protected variety marketed by or with the consent of the owner may be used for any purpose except export to countries where the protection does not extend to such a botanical genus or species. Variety protection remains effective for 25 years, and in some cases 35 years. Compulsory licences for the varieties protected in Estonia may be issued by the Government for a maximum period of four years, renewable. The Ministry of Agriculture, through the Variety Inspectorate, protects the rights of the owner of the protected variety by determining the infringement of such rights (specific offences are created by the Act). In case of infringement the Variety Inspectorate may arbitrate at the request of one or both parties.
Date of text
Serial Imprint
Legal Acts of Estonia No. 7, 16 May 1994, pp. 163-176.
Publication reference
FAL No. 44, 1995, pp. 6-14.
Source language


Legislation status
Legislation Amendment