Plant Varieties (Proprietary Rights) Act, 1980

Naming of protected plant varieties.

12.—(1) The Minister may by regulations provide for the selection of names for plant varieties which are the subject of applications for plant breeders' rights and for entry in the register of the names so selected.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) of this section, regulations under this section may in particular prescribe the circumstances in which representations may be made regarding any decision as to the name to be registered in respect of any plant variety.

(3) (a) Where a name of a plant variety is entered in the register every person who sells the reproductive material of that plant variety shall use that, and no other, name as the name of the variety, and failure to comply with the requirements of this paragraph shall (in addition to being an offence under section 23 of this Act in the circumstances mentioned in that section) be a wrong actionable in proceedings at the suit of the relevant holder (if any).

(b) If, where a name of a plant variety is entered in the register, any person uses that name, or a name so nearly resembling it as to be likely to deceive or cause confusion, in selling or offering or exposing for sale—

(i) reproductive material of a different plant variety within the same class as that in relation to which the entry is made, or

(ii) where under section 4 (9) of this Act plant breeders' rights as regards the first-mentioned plant variety have been extended to material other than reproductive material, that other material from a different plant variety within the same such class,

the use of the name shall be a wrong actionable in proceedings at the suit of the relevant holder (if any).

(c) In any proceedings for damages under this section it shall be a defence for the defendant to prove that he took reasonable precautions to avoid committing a wrong of the kind alleged and had not when using the name to which proceedings relate any reason to suspect that its use was wrongful.

(4) Where, in relation to the sale, offering or exposure for sale of reproductive material, a trade mark or trade name is used in association with a name entered in the register, the requirements of subsection (3) (a) of this section shall be regarded as having been complied with if, but only if, the name so entered is used so that it is both—

(a) easily recognisable, and

(b) easily distinguishable from the trade mark or trade name, as the case may be.

(5) (a) In this section “name”, except in “trade name”, includes any designation.

(b) For the purposes of this section plant varieties shall be regarded as being within the same class if they are each within a class which is either—

(i) a class consisting of all plant varieties of a botanical genus or species prescribed by regulations under section 4 of this Act, or

(ii) a class consisting of all the plant varieties of any two or more botanical genera or species prescribed for the purposes of this section.