PROCEDURE FOR REGISTRATION OF PLANT VARIETY PROTECTION

INTRODUCTION

The Protection of plant varieties of farmers right act 2001 has been enacted in India for the protecting the farmers rights a authority is established and located in New Delhi India approved the protection of plant variety and farmers right act in 2001 to comply with article 27(3) (b) of the TRIPS ( Trade related Aspects of Intellectual Property rights Agreement in 1994 ) . The Act seeks to grant protection to plant and breeders who have developed plant varieties by the use of their intellectual capabilities to boost the agriculture development in the country .

The IPR rights are both for the patent and plant breeder it provide legal protection for the product of human intellectual efforts because the product they create enrich our societies culture and knowledge it intends to provide adequate incentives for the creators and inventors to invest intellectual capital and thereby create plant varieties that could lead to development of high yielding variety and leading to greater productivity . The article examines the issue of registration of crop varieties by farmers in India . Originally, before 1980 agriculture was outside the purview of Intellectual  property rights in India but due to the pressure of advanced countries and organization such as General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade ( GATT) And Later the World Trade Organization        ( WTO) to enact law that brought plant varieties within the definition of Intellectual Property . Intellectual Property rights served as a means to recognize and reward a person or group for innovation . India has a ( sui generis ) system based on the concept of plant breeders right .

RIGHTS OF FARMERS ; An important feature of the concept of farmer’s right in the contemporary context that it recognizes two distinct roles of farmers ; farmers as a cultivator and farmers as conservers. Section 2 (k) of the “Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers” Rights Act ,2001 defines farmers as a cultivator ( cultivating the land himself ) or one who conserves and preserves any wild species . Section 39 to 46 of Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Right Act provide the following Rights

  1. Right on seeds
  2. Right to register
  3. Right to reward and recognition
  4. Right to benefit – sharing
  5. Right to compensation for losses
  6. Right against undisclosed use of traditional varieties
  7. Right to access to seed
  8. Right to free services
  9. Right to protection against accusations of infringement

NEED FOR PLANT PROTECTION AS AN IP –

  The development of new plant varieties with improved yields better quality and higher pest and disease resistance has contributed immensely to agriculture productivity. Plant breeder spend year developing new varieties with superior characteristics that require substantial financial investment. Therefore, IP Protection of newly developed plant varieties offers a reward system for breeders and encourage them to develop new plant varieties.

 

 

PROCEDURE OF THE REGISTRATION

 

  • Who can apply ( Section 14 )
  • Any person claiming to be breeder
  • Any successor of the breeder
  • Any person being the assignee of the breeder
  • Any farmer or group of farmer or community claiming to be breeder
  • Any person authorized by a person in a prescribed manner specified under clause (a) to (d) to make application on his behalf
  • Any university or agriculture institution to be the breeder

 

  • Criteria for new variety

A new variety shall deemed to be –

  1. Novel – If the harvested material of such variety has not been sold or otherwise disposed of by or with the consent of its breeder or his successor for the purpose of misuse of such variety India , in case of trees earlier than six years.
  2. Distinguishable – If It is clearly detectable  by at least one essential characteristic from any other variety whose existence is a matter of common knowledge in any country.
  3. Uniform – All plants of plant variety show the same characteristics ( subjected to variation in generations due to propagation ) .
  4. StabilityThrough many generations the essential characteristic of the plant should not change in terms of quality and content.

Types Of Plant Varieties Registered Under PVP&FR Act , 2001 –

 Different types of plant varieties that can be registered in India under the PVR&FR Act are as follow :

New Variety – A  new variety that confers the criteria of novelty , distinctiveness , uniformity & stability (NDUS)

Extant Variety – A variety can be registered as an extant variety if it is – (i) notified under Section 5 Seeds Act , 1966 or

ii) is a farmer’s variety or (iii) variety whose common knowledge prevails and is available in the public domain .

Farmer’s Variety– This is a variety that is traditionally cultivated and developed by the farmers in the field. These varieties can be a wild relative of any variety of which farmer has common knowledge .

Essentially  Derived Variety – Is the variety that is derived from a new variety of extant variety

 

Plant Varieties Which Cannot Be Registered In India :.

  • Plant variety whose commercial exploitation is detrimental for the environment or public order or public morality or health
  • Plant variety that involve the use of technology which is detrimental to human/animal / plant life .
  • Plant variety that belongs to the genera or species which is not listed in the notification issue by the Government of India .

PROCESS OF REGISTRATION :

The registration of plant variety is mandatory for farmers or plant breeders to exercise their exclusive rights over the plant variety. The registration of plant variety is carried out in the following steps –

  1. Forms for the registration of plant variety , extent variety , farmers variety and essentially derived variety are submitted to the PVP&FR Authority and are published on the website . There are more then 30 forms dedicated to plant variety protection.
  2. Plant variety which have received DUS Certificate are published in the ‘Plant Variety Journal of India ‘. At this stage the application is open for the opposition to registration of the plant variety .
  3. With no opposition to the application , the registrar will serve the notice of opposition to the applicant and the applicant has to file the counter statement for the opposition within two months of the receipt of the notice. Failing to do so the application will be abandoned.
  4. The registered plant varieties are added to the National Register of Plant Varieties maintained at the head office of PVP&FR Authority in New Delhi. The list of registered varieties can be accessed at Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmer’s Right Authority.

 

FEES STRUCTURE – Along with the application , the applicant has to deposit registration fees depending on the type of variety to be registered After the registration of the variety , the annual fee to be paid to maintain the registered plant variety.

DURATION OF REGISTRATION – T he maximum time taken for the issue of certificate is three years from the date of applying.

For tree and vines – 18 years from the date of registration of the variety.

For other crops – 15 years from the date of registration of the variety.

For extant variety- 15 years from the date of notification of that variety

Discussion And Conclusion :

The study undertook to investigate the details of registration under the PVP&FR Act to uncover that at what extent this act has helped the farmers and agriculture ecosystem . Protection of crops diversity , farmers access to quality seeds , mechanism for protecting variety developed by farmers. The PVP&FR Act in beginning showed a tangible impact on breeders and on the agriculture innovation system . I f we look closely the salient aspect of the act and the application and registration trends give a positive outlook of India’s sui generis plant variety . Benefit sharing is one of the most unique feature it also give flexibility to farmers in registering their variety. The protection of Plant Varieties and farmers right Act is the legislative expression of the commitment of the Indian state . This article reviews the registration of plant varieties under the new law . The farmers right to registration seeks to provide exclusive ownership and benefit to individual farmers in recognition of their role as breeders or innovators .

 

References –

  1. Intellectual property by Prof .Rupinder tewari and Ms. Mamta Bhardwaj ( Book )
  2. Protection of farmers Right in India by Ms P.S Seema (Book)
  3. https://vikaspedia.in/agriculture/policies-and-schemes/crops-related/protection-of-plant-varieties-and-rights-of-farmers/farmers2019-rights-in-the-ppv-fr-act-2001>>> Accessed on 16 August
  4. https://vikaspedia.in/agriculture/policies-and-schemes/crops-related/protection-of-plant-varieties-and-rights-of-farmers/protection-of-plant-varieties-and-farmers-rights-act-2001 >> Accessed on 16 August
  5.  Procedure for plant variety protection http://ras.org.in/the_registration_of_plant_varieties_by_farmers_in_india#:~:text=Right%20to%20register.,as%20plant%20breeders%20and%20innovators.>> Accessed on 17 August
  6. Types of Plant Variety Registered Under PVP&FR https://www.mondaq.com/india/patent/519652/plant-variety-protection#:~:text=Filing%20Requirements%20For%20The%20Registration,gene%20sequences%20involving%20terminator%20technology.>> Accessed on 17 August

Rights of farmer –

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