Clarify definition in the Plant Breeder's Rights Act of propagating material to include material capable of propagating, even when not being used for that purpose

At a glance

Policy ID: 51

Status: Policy development

Priority: High

Plant breeders rights ACIP

Issue summary

In its 2010 review of Plant Breeder's Rights (PBR) Enforcement, the former Advisory Council on Intellectual Property (ACIP) recommended that the Plant Breeder's Rights Act be amended to clarify that harvested material that is also propagating material is to be considered as propagating material for the purposes of section 11 of the Plant Breeder's Rights Act, even if it is not being used for that purpose.

The government accepted ACIP's recommendation in June 2011, noting that this would ensure that Plant Breeder's Rights owners could require royalties on harvested grain under s11 rather than rely on private contracts or extended rights, which ACIP had some concerns about. This would also ensure that the definition of harvested material in the Plant Breeder's Rights Act is consistent with the Federal Court's decision in Cultivaust Pty Limited v Grain Pool Pty Limited [2005] FCAFC 223.

History

  • On hold 4 September 2017
  • Identified for action 24 June 2021
  • Policy development 20 December 2022 

Comments

In 2022 IP Australia commissioned research from the University of Queensland (UQ) on harvested material. The independent report includes a number of recommendations, including that the Australian Government amend the PBR Act to clarify that harvested material that is also propagating material, is to be considered as propagating material for the purposes of section 11 of the PBR Act. 
 
IP Australia is currently considering the recommendations made by UQ. The Government hasn't taken any decision on possible PBR reform. 
   
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