27 March 2018

IP Australia received a request on 28 February 2018 from Lawn Solutions Australia seeking a temporary extension of duration of three years for varieties within the taxon Stenotaphrum secundatum on the Plant Breeder’s Rights (PBR) Register and in force as at 27 March 2018, under subsection 22(3) and section 69 of the Plant Breeder’s Rights Act 1994.

The request will be considered against the Assessment Framework for Requests to Extend the Duration of PBR Protection, July 2008 (‘EDOP framework’), with modification to account for recent legislative changes.

As set out in the EDOP framework, IP Australia will consider the request and determine if there is a prima facie case for additional action. If a prima facie case is not established, the Minister will notify that the request has not been successful.

If a prima facie case for additional action is established, the Minister will authorise public consultation which will assist IP Australia to conduct an impact analysis and provide a report to the Minister. We will invite consultation from the turf industry and other stakeholders if the request proceeds to that stage. If upon receipt of this report the Minister forms a prima facie intention to make Regulations, the Minister will publish notice under section 69 inviting submissions within 30 days.

The request from Lawn Solutions Australia states that the buffalo grass variety ‘Sir Walter’, which is protected under PBR Certificate no. 1028 in the name of Buchanan Turf Supplies Pty Ltd, falls within the taxon Stenotaphrum secundatum. PBR protection for the buffalo grass variety ‘Sir Walter’ expires on 27 March 2018. There are no provisions in the PBR Act that allow the Registrar to either delay or prevent expiry of a PBR.

For further information, please contact Nik Hulse, Chief of Plant Breeder’s Rights, IP Australia on 02 6283 7982 or, alternatively, PBR Senior Examiner Dr Tanvir Hossain on 02 6283 7984.