Plant Varieties (Proprietary Rights) Act, 1980


Conditions referred to in Section 5 (1) (b)

Section 5 (1).


1. (1) (a) Whatever the origin, be it natural or artificial, of the initial variation from which a plant variety to which an application under this Act relates has resulted, for the purposes of this Act the variety shall be regarded as being distinct if, and only if, by reference to one or more important characteristics, it is clearly distinguishable from any other plant variety whose existence is a matter of common knowledge at the time when the application is made.

(b) The distinguishing characteristics must in all cases be capable both of precise description and of recognition.

(2) For the purposes of this paragraph common knowledge may be established by reference to plant varieties already being cultivated or exploited commercially, or those included in a recognised commercial or botannical reference collection, or those of which there are precise descriptions in any publication.

Previous commercialisation.

2. Neither plants of the variety to which the application relates, nor any material forming part of or derived from plants of such variety, shall, in the course of commercial marketing, have, with the consent of the applicant or his predecessor in title, been—

(a) sold in the State,

(b) sold in any country or territory other than the State—

(i) in case such plants (including their rootstocks) are vines, forest trees, fruit trees or ornamental trees, prior to the period of six years ending on the day on which the application was received by the Controller,

(ii) in case such plants are plants of any other genus or species, prior to the period of four years ending on such day,

provided that this paragraph shall not commence to have effect as regards a particular plant variety—

(c) in relation to which rights which correspond or are analogous to plant breeders' rights have been granted under the law of a convention country and are in force on the date when the application is received by the Controller, or

(d) which—

(i) is in the National Catalogue of Agricultural Plant Varieties or such other catalogue or list as may be prescribed for the purposes of this paragraph, and

(ii) has not been sold in the State at any time prior to such period of time ending on the day on which the application is so received by the Controller as is prescribed in relation to such variety,

until the expiration of the period of one year beginning on the commencement of the regulations under section 4 of this Act in which the relevant genus or species is specified.


3. Having regard to the particular features of its sexual reproduction or vegetative propagation, the plant variety to which the application relates must be sufficiently uniform or homogeneous as to satisfy standards and criteria for the time being specified by the Controller.


4. The plant variety to which the application relates must be stable in its essential characteristics, that is to say, it must remain true to its description as given in the relevant application for plant breeders' rights after repeated reproduction or propagation, or, where the application for such rights stipulates a particular cycle of reproduction or multiplication, at the end of each such cycle.


5. The plant variety to which the application relates shall be given a name specified by the applicant and such name shall have been selected in accordance with regulations under section 12 of this Act which are for the time being in force.

6. References in this Schedule to an application are references to an application for plant breeders' rights under section 4 of this Act.