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Plant Varieties Act 1997.

Type of law
Date of original text

The present Act introduces provisions relative to plant breeders' rights, to the protection of such rights, provides for continues in existence of Plant Variety Office and the Plant Variety and Seeds Tribunal. The text of the Act consists of 54 sections divided into 3 Parts: Plant Varieties (I); The Plant varieties and Seeds Tribunal (II); Miscellaneous and general (III).
Part I is divided into the following sub-headings: Preliminary; Grant of plant breeders' rights; Scope of plant breeders' rights; Exceptions; Duration and transmission of plant breeders' rights; Remedies for infringement; Duties of holder of plant breeders' rights; Naming of protected varieties; Termination and suspension of plant breeders' rights; Proceedings before the Controller; Discharge of the Controller's functions; False information and representations as to rights; Miscellaneous; General. The office known as the Plant Variety Rights Office shall continue in being for the purposes of this Part. The Controller may grant plant breeders' rights if the conditions set out in section 4 are met. One of the conditions is that the variety is a qualifying variety. For the purposes of subsection above, a variety is a qualifying variety if it is- (a) distinct, (b) uniform, (c) stable, and (d) new. The person by whom the application is made shall be the person entitled to the grant of plant breeders' rights in respect of the variety to which it relates. Part I of Schedule 2 to this Act has effect for the purpose of determining whether these criteria are met. Section 6 defines the scope of plant breeders' rights, i.e. the protection against infringement by certain actions of others the holder. Section 7 extends such protection to varieties, which are dependent upon the protected variety. Sections 8 and 9 formulate certain exceptions to the protection of plant breeders' rights, e.g. certain use, farm saved seed and exhaustion of rights. Plant breeders' rights shall have effect in principle, in the case of trees and vines 30 years from the date of grant and in other cases 25 years. Plant breeders' rights shall be assignable like other proprietary rights (sect. 12). Sections 13 to 15 provide for actions against infringement whereas se right to an applicant. The Minister may provide for the naming and registration of varieties pursuant to section 1. Sections 21 to 23 provide for termination and suspension of rights. The remaining provisions of Part I deal with proceedings before the Controller or are of a miscellaneous nature. Part I provides for the continuation of the Plant Varieties and Seeds Tribunal and its jurisdiction. Also rules contained in Schedule 3 concern the Tribunal and in particular the organization. Part III contains miscellaneous provisions. Schedule 3 to this Act (which makes provision about the Tribunal) shall have effect. Schedules: The Plant Variety Rights Office (1); Conditions for the grant of plant breeders' rights; The Plant Varieties and Seeds Tribunal (III). Repeals (IV).
Long title of text
An Act to make provision about rights in relation to plant varieties; to make provision about the Plant Varieties and Seeds Tribunal; to extend the time limit for institution of proceedings for contravention of seeds regulations; and for connected purposes.
Date of consolidation/reprint
Entry into force notes
The Plant Varieties Act 1997, other than sections 49, 53 and 54(2), shall come into force on 8th May 1998 (The Plant Varieties Act 1997 (Commencement) Order 1998).
Last amendment was made by Public Service Pensions and Judicial Offices Act 2022.
Source language


Legislation status
in force
Legislation Amendment