International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants

The International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) is a global system for granting intellectual property (IP) protection for plant varieties. Australia is a signatory member of UPOV.

What is the UPOV system?

UPOV is administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Under UPOV, you can apply for plant breeder's rights (PBR) across a number of participating countries from the one platform. There are over 70 members of UPOV. 

What is UPOV?

How does it work?

Here's a quick video that explains what the UPOV system is and how it works.

What is the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants?

What is the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants?

The International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants, or UPOV, is a global organisation that provides and promotes a system of plant variety protection. Australia is a signatory member of UPOV along with over 70 other countries.

To obtain protection in different countries, you’ll need to file an individual application in each region. UPOV uses an online tool called PRISMA, which allows you to apply for plant breeder's rights across a number of countries from one platform.

Applying via PRISMA means you can use your Australian application as the basis for an overseas application, and it will be examined according to the plant breeder’s rights legislation in that country.

Want to learn more? Check out our UPOV page.

Can I apply under UPOV?

If your target country is a member of UPOV, you can apply through PRISMA. PRISMA is UPOV's online system for filing and managing international plant breeder's applications.

To apply using PRISMA, you must:

  • Be the breeder of the variety, or
  • Have been assigned the rights from the breeder.

An agent may act on behalf of the breeder.

Who can apply for PBR?

Why should I apply using PRISMA?

Applying using PRISMA allows you to:

  • Apply for protection in multiple countries using the one platform
  • Save time with preparing and filing multiple applications directly to each target country
  • Have your application examined according to the PBR legislation and laws in the designated member country
  • Use your Australian application as the basis for an application in another country.

What to consider before applying

Under the UPOV Convention, the PBR will only be granted where the variety is: 

  • New
  • Distinct
  • Uniform
  • Stable.

Plant eligibility requirements

How to apply 

You'll need to:

  • Log in or create an account with the WIPO IP portal
  • Navigate to PRISMA
  • Submit your application
  • Pay the fee(s).

Log in to PRISMA

How to manage your plant breeder's right

You can manage your international registration directly with the country or region where you've applied. This includes making changes or updates, and renewing or cancelling your registration.

Commonly asked questions

If you have questions about the UPOV system and how to navigate it, you're not alone. Here's the answers to the most commonly asked questions we receive.

Can I claim priority on my earliest overseas application lodged with a UPOV member state?

To be eligible to claim priority, you're required to submit a copy of the first foreign application certified by the relevant authority to be a true copy, within three months of the date of lodging the Australian application.

You're also required to complete the assessment of the application in Australia within five years of making the first foreign application.

It's important you check the time frames with each country.

When can priority be claimed with a UPOV member state?

A claim for priority with a member state can only be made if the Australian application is lodged within 12 months of lodging the earliest overseas application.

If you have a variety registered in Australia and you're seeking to register it in another UPOV state, are you obliged to file under the same variety name?

Yes. However, if the registered name can't be accepted (because of the relevant legislation) then you may be required to submit a new name.