Under the Plant Breeder’s Rights Act, grantees of rights have to take all reasonable steps to ensure reasonable public access to the protected plant variety. An exemption can be sought under s 19(11) for plants of that variety which have no direct use as a consumer product, such as a parent line. Applications for such exemptions are rare. A stakeholder has raised concerns about this situation, but it is unclear whether the low number of applications is due to difficulties in obtaining the exemption or due to low stakeholder interest in the exemption (or a mixture of the two). Monitoring of the situation is required to determine the cause.
In the first instance, IP Australia would explore non-legislative measures to address this issue.
Closed August 2020
IP Australia is undertaking non-legislative actions to address this issue.
A brief explanation of section 19 has been published on the IP Australia website.
The pro-forma for requesting an exemption has also been included on the forms page.
A review in 2020 has shown that a small number of requests for exemption were received and approved since the creation of forms and an administrative process on the IP Australia website. No requests were denied, and no correspondence has been received to indicate that there is an issue or concern with the administrative process