Dealing with oppositions

An objection to an application for plant breeder’s rights (PBR) can be made by any person who considers:

  • that their commercial interests would be adversely affected by the grant of that PBR

  • that the application is incorrect, incomplete or will not fulfill all the conditions required by the Plant Breeder's Rights Act 1994.

Objections to applications must be lodged with our PBR Registrar. The objector must set out evidence to why the application should not be granted, which may include stating the adverse effects on their commercial interests. Objections often involve ownership disputes.

Objections can also be known as oppositions.  An objection can be lodged at any time:

  • after application part 1 is accepted under provisional protection

  • before the end of the six month period starting with the public notice of the description of the variety (as part of application part 2).

The PBR Registrar is required to give a copy of the objection to the applicant, who has the opportunity to respond to the evidence presented. The Registrar then decides whether or not the objection will be upheld and, subsequently, whether the application will be granted. This process can be quite lengthy.

Objections are available to the general public on request, for a fee.

Minimise the possibility of objections

Applications for PBR must be prepared carefully, to minimise the possibility of objection. Distinctness from existing varieties that is not clearly established may attract opposition. It is essential that the detailed description of the new variety is as complete as possible and clearly establishes differences between the new variety and the most similar existing varieties.

Last updated: 
31 May 2016