Note: The answers are in simplified form. Please consult relevant section(s) of the Plant Breeder's Rights Act 2016 and Plant Breeder's Rights Rules, 2018.
Q. Who can get protection rights of a plant variety?
A. Following are possible forms of a breeder seeking plant variety protection:
i. Plant Breeder
ii. Employer of the breeder
iii. Successor of the applicant
Q. What morphological descriptions of the candidate variety/hybrid are required?
A. Descriptions bringing out novelty, distinctness, uniformity and stability of the candidate variety/hybrid.
Q. In case the candidate variety is a hybrid, do the applicant has to provide seed of parental material of the hybrid?
A. DUS evaluation of a candidate hybrid can be carried out without its parental material. However, submission of seed of the parental material along with seed of the candidate hybrid shall enable DUS evaluation of the hybrids along with its parent under same conditions. This will significantly improve level of protection of the hybrid and its parents.
Q. In case the candidate variety is a hybrid, what sort of data/material required of its parental material?
A. Identification data of the parental material is required which can be molecular profiling and morphological description supported with photographs & drawings.
Q. What sort of photographs and drawings are useful for applying for protection of a variety/hybrid?
A. Photographs and drawings which elaborate novelty and distinctness of the candidate variety/hybrid.
Q. What is difference between a plant variety and an Essentially Derived Variety (EDV)?
A. A variety is the lowest ranked group of a botanical taxon distinguishable from other groups by uniform expression of at least one inheritable trait.
Whereas, the Essentially Derived Variety is such a derivative of a protected variety that retains all essential characteristics of it parental verity except the characteristic(s) which make it distinguishable from its parental and other varieties.
Q. What is difference between protection of a variety and an EDV?
A. Following are the major differences:
i. For EDV, the word “variety” is substituted with “Essentially Derived Variety” in all documents.
ii. Consent and agreement of benefit sharing of breeder of the already protected variety is required for getting protection for the EDV.
iii. The Registrar office may recommend any procedure and tests in addition to DUS to confirm derived nature of the EDV.
iv. Any variety derived from an EDV cannot get protection
Q. What is Plant Breeders Rights according to the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act (2016)?
A. The Act provides following Exclusive Rights to the Breeder of a protected variety;
a. Offering for sale or selling or marketing of propagating material of the variety
b. Import or export of the propagating material of the variety
c. Conditioning or multiplying propagating material of the variety
d. Carrying out any of the act mentioned in the above stated section a, b & c for an EDV
e. Instigating or promoting any of the acts identified in the above mentioned section a, b, c & d
f. Authorizing any person to produce, sell, market or otherwise deal with a protected variety
g. Stocking for any of the purpose mentioned in the above stated section a to d.
h. Authorize to performed above mentioned acts
i. Authorize a person to produce an EDV or F1 hybrid by using the protected variety
Q. What are exceptions from for infringement suit?
A. No suit can be filed against use of a protected material:
i. In a private non-commercial activity
ii. In research and plant breeding in development of a new variety. However, authorization of the owner of the protection rights is required in case the protected variety has to be repeatedly used as parent in commercial production of the derived variety.
iii. Development of new varieties, except the new variety is an EDV of the protected variety.
iv. By farmer to save, use, sow, re-sow, exchange, share of sell his farm produce provided that the farmer cannot sell seed of the protected variety on commercial basis without complying with the requirements of Seed Act, 1976 and Regulations made therein.
Q. What is annual fee to maintain protection of a variety?
A. Pak. Rs. 10,000/- is the annual fee to maintain protection of a variety.
Q. What if the annual fee to maintain protection of a variety is not paid?
A. The Registrar may forfeit the protection certificate after following a prescribed procedure.
Q. How to pay different fees of the PBR Registry?
A. All fees have to be deposited in any branch of the National Bank of Pakistan on Form TR-6 (Code No. - C03142).
Q. In which currency fees of the PBR Registry can be paid?
A. Fee for the PBR Registry can be paid in Pakistani Rupees or US Dollar.
Q. Who is responsible for confidentiality of the information and material provided to get Plant Variety Protection?
A. The Registrar of PBR Registry will be responsible for confidentiality and protection of information and material provided to get Plant Variety Protection.
Q. Where the application for protection of a variety will be advertise to invite, if any, opposition to it?
A. After preliminary scrutiny, the application will be advertised as specified in Schedule-II of the Plant Breeders’ Rights Rules, 2018, in PBR Journal in both hard and soft form.
Q Where to file a suit against infringement of the Breeder’s Rights?
A. Case against any violation of the Breeders Exclusive Rights mentioned in section 22(1) of the Act and unauthorized use of a protected variety to produce an EDV or F1 hybrid, shall be filed in the Court of District Judge within the local limit of whose jurisdiction the case of action arises.
Q. What are important facts regarding an infringement suit?
A. Important aspects for any such suit are:
i. Damages will not be assessed against a defendant for infringement committed before actual or constructive notice is given to the defendant that the variety is protected.
ii. The case shall be filed with 03 years of occurrence of the infringement
Q. What are possible relives of an infringement to the Breeders Rights?
A. The court may award share in benefits or damages to the owner of the certificate not exceeding the quantum of loss caused or benefit derived from such violation or any other appropriate relief.