Development of new plant varieties and better quality of seeds has accelerated the agricultural development. It has, therefore, been internationally recognized that rights of plant breeders should not only be recognized but a Sui generis legal mechanism be evolved to protect their rights as well.
India being a member of Union of Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) Convention and WTO, realized the need to protect interests of plant breeders, farmers and promote conservation of genetic resources and seed industry; so finally the Government of India enacted “The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmer’s Right Act,2001 (PPVFRA)”.
Types Of Varieties Which Can Be Registered
- New Variety: A new variety can be registered under the Act if it conforms to the criteria for novelty, distinctiveness, uniformity and stability.
- Extant variety: An extant variety can be registered under the Act if it conforms to the criteria for distinctiveness, uniformity and stability. Thus novelty is not considered while going for the protection of plant varieties.
- Farmers’ Variety: farmers variety means a variety “which has been traditionally cultivated and evolved by the farmers in their fields”.
Persons Who Can Apply For The Registration Of Plant Variety
Application for registration of a variety can be made by any person claiming to be the breeder of the variety, any successor or assignee of the breeder of the variety, any farmer or group of farmers or community of farmers claiming to be breeder of the variety or any University or publicly funded agricultural institution claiming to be breeder of the variety.
According to this right, certain acts concerning the exploitation of the protected variety require the prior authorization of the breeder.