Plant Breeder’s Rights update for the Australian nursery industry
Greenlife Industry Australia (GIA) continues to advocate on behalf of members through its membership of Intellectual Property (IP) Australia’s Plant Breeder’s Rights Consultation Group. IP Australia is currently seeking feedback from owners, licensees and managers of Plant Breeder’s Rights (PBR) as to how proposed changes to guidance under the International Union for Protection of New Plant Varieties (UPOV) Convention may affect Australia’s nursery industry.
The Plant Breeder’s Right Consultation Group (PBRCG) is a principal forum for consultation, within IP Australia, for the discussion and information exchange on issues relating to the Australian PBR system, which could impact on PBR policy, practice and legislation in Australia.
The PBRCG meetings are usually held twice a year with the most recent meeting on 30 June. Peter Vaughan, CEO Greenlife Industry Australia, is a member of the group. The other direct nursery industry representative on the PBRGC is Leanne Gillies from Fleming’s Nursery in her role as a Qualified Person for PBR applications.
The items of business discuss and being progressed by the PBRCG include:
Proposed changes to Explanatory Notes on Essentially Derived Varieties (EDV) under the UPOV Convention
Domestic Policy and Legislation Updates for PBR
End Point Royalty Collection
IP Australia Transactional Digital Service
PBR Systems Modernisation
UPOV meeting update.
Two key items of business are discussed further below.
Feedback sought on Essentially Derived Varieties (EDV) under the UPOV convention
IP Australia is seeking stakeholders’ feedback on how Australia’s plant breeding industries could be affected by proposed changes to guidance on the UPOV Convention. This convention was set up as an international system for the protection of new plant varieties. Should Australia consider changing the Australian definition of an Essentially Derived Variety (EDV) to be closer to the proposed changes to the Explanatory Notes?
Interested parties are invited to make written submissions in response to the questions below:
End Point Royalty in the Nursery & Garden Industry
Royalty collection is one of the processes for ‘owners’ of a new plant variety to ‘extract’ value from the PBR. A presentation at the meeting on 30 June was provided on a paper on end point royalty (EPR) collection in the Nursery & Garden Industry from 2015. The paper was presented to commence a ‘general discussion’ on EPR collection, how systems have progressed since 2015 and whether it needs to be reviewed across the various plant sectors.
The nursery industry EPR collection ‘case study’ was conducted for several reasons, including self-reproducing material may be used and the industry structure and supply chain is complex. No resolution was reached on if or how to progress a ‘new’ approach to collecting royalty stock but there is the opportunity to progress if requested by industry.