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THE PROTECTION OF PLANT VARIETIES AND FARMERS RIGHTS ACT, 2001

Title : THE PROTECTION OF PLANT VARIETIES AND FARMERS RIGHTS ACT, 2001

Year : 2001

[Act No. 53 of 2001]
[30th October, 2001]



PREAMBLE

An Act to provide for the establishment of an effective system for protection of plant varieties, the rights of farmers and plant breeders and to encourage the development of new varieties of plants.

WHEREAS it is considered necessary to recognise and protect the rights of the farmers in respect of their contribution made at any time in conserving, improving and making available plant genetic resources for the development of new plant varieties;

AND WHEREAS for accelerated agricultural development in the country, it is necessary to protect plant breeders' rights to stimulate investment for research and development, both in the public and private sector, for the development of new plant varieties;

AND WHEREAS such protection will facilitate the growth of the seed industry in the country which will ensure the availability of high quality seeds and planting material to the farmers;

AND WHEREAS, to give effect to the aforesaid objectives, it is necessary to undertake measures for the protection of the rights of farmers and plant breeders;

AND WHEREAS India, having ratified the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights should, inter alia, make provision for giving effect to sub-paragraph (b) of paragraph 3 of article 27 in Part II of the said Agreement relating to protection of plant varieties.

BE it enacted by Parliament in the Fifty-second Year of the Republic of India as follows:-



(1) This Act may be called the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers' Rights Act, 2001.

(2) It extends to the whole of India.

(3) It shall come into force on such dale as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint; and different dates may be appointed for different provisions of this Act and any reference in any such provision to the commencement of this Act shall be construed as a reference to the coming into force of that provision.



In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,-

(a) "Authority" means the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers' Rights Authority established under sub-section (1) of section 3;

(b) "Benefit sharing", in relation to a variety, means such proportion of the benefit accruing to a breeder of such variety or such proportion of the benefit accruing to the breeder from an agent or a licensee of such variety, as the case may be, for which a claimant shall be entitled as determined by the Authority under section 26;

(c) "Breeder" means a person or group of persons or a farmer or group of farmers or any institution which has bred, evolved or developed any variety;

(d) "Chairman" means the Chairman of the Tribunal;

(e) "Chairperson" means the Chairperson of the Authority appointed under clause (a) of sub-section (5) of section 3,

(f) "Convention country" means a country which has acceded to an international convention for the protection of plant varieties to which India has also acceded, or a country which has a law on protection of plant varieties on the basis of which India has entered into an agreement for granting plant breeders' right to the citizens of both the countries;

(g) "Denomination", in relation to a variety or its propagating material or essentially derived variety or its propagating material, means the denomination of such variety or its propagating material or essentially derived variety or its propagating material, as the case may be. expressed by means of letters or a combination of letters and figures written in any language;

(h) "Essential characteristics" means such heritable traits of a plant variety which are determined by the expression of one or more genes of other heritable determinants that contribute to the principal features, performance or value of the plant variety;

(i) "Essentially derived variety", hi respect of a variety (the initial variety), shall be said to be essentially derived from such initial variety when it-

(i) Is predominantly derived from such initial variety, or from a variety that itself is predominantly derived from such initial variety, while retaining the ex-pression of the essential characteristics that result from the genotype or combination of genotypes of such initial variety;

(ii) Is clearly distinguishable from such initial variety; and

(iii) Conforms (except for the differences which result from the act of derivation) to such initial variety in the expression of the essential characteristics that result from the geno type or combination of geno type of such initial variety;

(j) "Extant variety" means a variety available in India which is-
 
(i) Notified under section 5 of the Seeds Act, 1966 (54 of 1966); or

(ii) Farmers' variety; or

(iii) A variety about which there is common knowledge; or
 
(iv) Any other variety which is in public domain;
 
(k) "Farmer" means any person who-

(i) Cultivates crops by cultivating the land himself; or

(ii) Cultivates crops by directly supervising the cultivation of land through any other person; or
 
(iii) Conserves and preserves, severally or jointly, with any other person any wild species or traditional varieties or adds value to such wild species or traditional varieties through selection and identification of their useful properties;

(l) "Farmers' variety" means a variety which-

(i) Has been traditionally cultivated and evolved by the farmers in their fields, or.

(ii) Is a wild relative or land race of a variety about which the farmers possess the common knowledge;
 
(m) "Gene Fund" means the National Gene Fund constituted under sub-section (1) of section 45;

(n) "Judicial Member" means a Member of the Tribunal appointed as such under sub-section (V) of section 55 and includes the Chairman;

(o) "Member" means a Judicial Member or a Technical Member of the Tribunal and includes the Chairman;

(p) "Member" means a member of the Authority appointed under clause (b) of sub-section (5) of section 3 and includes the member-secretary;

(q) "Prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

(r) "Propagating material" means any plant or its component or part thereof including an intended seed or seed which is capable of, or suitable for, regeneration into a plant;

(s) "Register" means the National Register of Plant Varieties referred to in section 13;

(t) "Registrar" means a Registrar of Plant Varieties appointed under sub-section (4) of section 12 and includes the Registrar-General;

(u) "Registrar-General" means the Registrar-General of Plant Varieties appointed under sub-section (5) of section 12;

(v) "Registry" means the Plant Varieties Registry referred to in sub-section (1) of section 12;

(w) "Regulations" means the regulations made by the Authority under this Act;

(x) "Seed" means a type of living embryo or propagule capable of regeneration and giving rise to a plant which is true to such type;

(y) "Tribunal" means the Plant Varieties Protection Appellate Tribunal established under section 54;

(z) 'Technical Member" means a Member of the Tribunal who is not a Judicial Member;

(za) "Variety" means a plant grouping except micro organism within a single botanical tax on of the lowest known rank, which can be-

(i) Defined by the expression of the characteristics resulting from a given genotype of that plant grouping;

(ii) Distinguished from any other plant grouping by expression of at least one of the said characteristics; and

(iii) Considered as a unit with regard to its suitability for being propagated, which remains unchanged after such propagation, and includes propagating material of such variety, extant variety, transgenic variety, farmars' variety and essentially derived variety.
Last updated on September, 2016

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