Last updated: 
17 September 2019

Applying for plant breeder's rights (PBR) is a staged application process. You can’t submit your Application part 2 until you have completed these prior steps:

  • Application part 1

  • Qualified person (QP)

  • Growing trial.

Once your Application part 1 is accepted, you are covered by provisional protection against infringement.

You need to complete Application part 2 to get full and ongoing PBR protection for your new plant variety.

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

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

The process for Application part 2

When all of these requirements are successfully completed and any objections are resolved, you will receive a certificate of PBR. Your new plant variety will now be protected for 20 years (25 years for some species). You will need to pay the annual renewal fee and obey any conditions placed on the variety to retain protection.


The examination fee can be paid when you submit the detailed description of your variety, as long as this is provided within 12 months of acceptance of your Application part 1. Our field examination of your growing trial, and publication of the plant description in our Plant Varieties Journal will take place after the fee is paid.

If an examination fee is not paid at the end of 12 months, the application will be refused and your variety will not have provisional protection. You may not be eligible to apply again.

The examination fee covers:

  • the technical examination of the application including a field examination (if required) or overseas test report
  • the assessment of the description
    • the description of your new variety is compiled by your QP using a standard format managed by our interactive variety description system (IVDS), taking into account internationally adopted testing protocols. It describes the essential characteristics of your variety, including those which are clearly distinguishable from the most similar existing varieties.
  • the publication of the description and photograph of your new variety in the Plant Varieties Journal
  • any other enquiries necessary to establish eligibility for PBR.

Examination fee and quarantined plants

If the plant variety to which your application relates is in quarantine you can extend the payment date for the examination fee. You can pay the fee within 12 months of the date the plant variety is released from quarantine, rather than within 12 months of acceptance of your Application part 1. This is covered in subsection 34(7) of the Plant Breeder's Rights Act 1994,

Contact us if you want to discuss this option.


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

If your accepted Application is opposed you should consider consulting your QP or an intellectual property professional. Once any objections are resolved and all fees are paid, your PBR will be granted.

More information