Manage your PBR
Managing your Plant Breeder's Rights (PBR) involves paying your annual registration, correctly labeling your plant variety, commercially exploiting your plant variety (if you wish) and excluding other people from specified acts in relation to your plant variety.
Before full rights are granted
Once Part 1 of your application is accepted, your plant variety is covered by provisional protection against infringement. For more information about this stage, see the application process.
What are my rights under the Act?
You have the opportunity to commercialise your plant variety - either through a contractual arrangement with a person or organisation (licensing) or by selling it yourself (provided that there is no other legislation preventing you or the person you contract from undertaking the commercial activities).
In addition to protecting your right to commercialise your plant variety, PBR also protect the registered name and synonym of the variety from use in relation to other similar plants.
Retaining your PBR
To retain your PBR, you must pay the annual registration renewal fee for the rest of the protection period.
Your right is to exclude others from doing certain specified acts in relation to the propagating material of a variety - i.e. production, reproduction, conditioning, sale, import, exports and stocking of the material (see Section 11 of the PBR Act ).
If you suspect someone is infringing your PBR, you may consider contacting an IP Professional.
Selling your rights
PBR are personal property and can be assigned, sold and transferred to other parties. There have also been instances where even the right to apply for PBR has been sold.
Plant varieties to which PBR apply should be labeled according to form to indicate that they are registered with us.
Infringement of your PBR
As the owner of the rights, you can seek an injunction, damages or an account of profits for infringement of your rights through civil action.
The owner of the rights (either directly or through an agent or licensee) is the only person who can initiate a civil action for infringement of a PBR.
Beyond granting your right, we are not involved in any further enforcement on your behalf.
The Department of Public Prosecutions may also take criminal action against infringement, but this is only in exceptional circumstances where sufficient weight of public interest is at stake and the evidence of infringement is conclusive.
Penalties for infringement of PBR
The Plant Breeder's Act 1994 provides for both civil and criminal proceedings for infringement.
The grantee may initiate civil action seeking an injunction, damages or an account of profits. The Act provides for criminal penalties of up to $55 000 for individuals and $275 000 for companies if a successful infringement action is brought by the Department of Public Prosecutions.
Misrepresentation of PBR
The misrepresentation of PBR includes:
- claiming a variety to be PBR protected when in fact it is not
- claiming a variety isn't PBR protected when it is
- providing false information in relation to an application
Penalties for misrepresentation
Misrepresentation can attract fines of $6000 for each offence. Providing false statements in relation to an application can attract six months imprisonment. See Section 75 of the PBR Act for more information.
Last Updated: 07/1/2013