PBR application process

Applying for plant breeder's rights (PBR) involves a two-step application process.

Applications step-by-step

Part 1

  • Apply for a PBR online with the Part 1 Application form in eServices
  • Conduct a comparative growing trial to demonstrate distinctness, uniformity and stability (DUS)
  • If the variety is an Australian species, dispatch a herbarium specimen to satisfy special DUS requirements as soon as possible
  • We examine the application, which may include a field examination of the comparative growing trial
  • Submit the detailed description of the variety using the Interactive Variety Description System. The description will be published in the Plant Varieties Journal
  • Submit a comparative photo of the variety for publication in the Plant Varieties Journal

Part 2

  • Complete the form Application for Plant Breeder's Rights Part 2 - Description of Variety
  • Pay the examination fee
  • Deposit propagating material in a genetic resources centre and complete the Confirmation of submission to a genetic resource centre form PDF [235KB].
  • A description and photograph comparing the new variety with similar varieties is published in Plant Varieties Journal, followed by a six-month period for objection or comment - during this time a certificate fee must be paid
  • Upon successful completion of all the requirements, resolution of objections (if any) and payment of the certificate fee, the applicants receive a certificate of plant breeder's rights

When do I file Part 2 of my application?

Once an application is accepted, it is covered by provisional protection against infringement.

You then have a minimum of 12 months to further consider its commercial worth and resolve issues, such as finance and licensing before deciding whether full PBR protection is worthwhile.

Timing of submission of the Part 2 Application form is variable and is largely determined by the time it takes to complete and examine the comparative growing trial.

Examination of your PBR application

The examination process checks the formalities of your application, the eligibility of the applicant to apply and the details of the variety itself.

Examination is conducted in several steps. They are:

  1. The Part 1 application form is examined to establish the application meets minimum standards for a valid application. If so, the application is 'accepted' and covered by provisional protection. This usually occurs within 2 months of filing your application.
  2. Substantive examination. Once accepted, the claims made in the Part 1 application form are tested in a comparative growth trial. These can be done at Centralised Test Centres (CTC's). This usually takes 18 months from filing to complete.
  3. A physical examination of the growth trial will be conducted by us once the trial begins displaying major differences with existing varieties. We confirm the key distinctive characteristics of the variety.

Payment of examination fee for PBR applications for quarantined plants

According to subsection 34(7) of the Act, if the plant variety to which the application relates is in quarantine under the Quarantine Act 1908, the applicant must pay the prescribed examination fee within 12 months after the plant variety is released from quarantine (rather than within 12 months of acceptance of application into provisional protection).

Opposition and Grant

Once finalised, the variety's detailed description and photograph are published on-line in the Plant Varieties Journal. Third parties then have six months to formally oppose or comment on your application.

If you accepted PBR application is opposed, you should consider consulting your qualified person or IP professional. Once all the requirements have been completed successfully, any objections are resolved and all fees are paid, your plant breeder's right will be granted.

Full registration takes an average of two and a half years for most species. Slow growing species, such as fruit trees may take longer in-line with the time taken to complete the comparative growing trial.

Conforming with other laws

PBR applicants and registrants must conform to other Commonwealth, state and territory legislation on the 'use and movement' of plant material. This is particularly important for national bio-security. This includes, but is not limited to, situations where importers of new plant varieties must comply with the requirements of the Quarantine Act 1908, which provides the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) with powers to control the import of all plant products.

More information

Last Updated: 22/12/2015

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