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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



(1) When an application for registration of a variety (other than an essentially derived variety) has been accepted and either-

(a) The application has not been opposed and the time of notice of opposition has expired; or

(b) The application has been opposed and the opposition has been rejected, the Registrar shall register the variety.

(2) On the registration of the variety (other than an essentially derived variety), the Registrar shall issue to the applicant a certificate of registration in the prescribed form and scaled with the seal of the Registry and send a copy thereof to the Authority for determination of benefit sharing and to such other authority, as may be prescribed, for information. The maximum time required by the Registrar for issuing the certificate of registration from the date of filing of the application for registration of a variety shall be such as may be prescribed.

(3) Where registration of a variety (other than an essentially derived variety), is not completed within twelve months from the date of the application by reason of default on the part of the applicant, the Registrar may, after giving notice to the applicant in the prescribed manner, treat the application as abandoned unless it is completed within the time specified in that behalf in the notice.

(4) The Registrar may amend the Register or a certificate of registration for the purpose of correcting a clerical error or an obvious mistake.

(5) The Registrar shall have power to issue such directions to protect the interests of a breeder against any abusive act committed by any third party during the period between filing of application for registration and decision taken by the Authority on such application.

(6) The certificate of registration issued under this section or sub-section (8) of section 23 shall be valid for nine years in the case of trees and vines and six years in the case of other crops and may be reviewed and renewed for the remaining period on payment of such fees as may be fixed by the rules made in this behalf subject to the condition that the total period of validity shall not exceed,-
 
(i) In the case of trees and vines, eighteen years from the date of registration of the variety;

(ii) In the case of extant variety, fifteen years from the date of the notification of that variety by the Central Government under section 5 of the Seeds Act, 1966; and

(iii) In other cases, fifteen years from the date of registration of the variety.



The Authority shall, within such intervals as it thinks appropriate, publish the list of varieties which have been registered during that interval.



(1) On receipt of copy of the certificate of registration under sub-section (8) of section 23 or sub-section (2) of section 24, the Authority shall publish such contents of the certificate and invite claims of benefit sharing to the variety registered under such certificate in the manner as may be prescribed.

(2) On invitation of the claims under sub-section (1), any person or group of persons or firm or governmental or non-governmental organisation shall submit its claim of benefit sharing to such variety in the prescribed form within such period, and accompanied with such fees, as may be prescribed:

Provided that such claim shall only be submitted by any-

(i) Person or group of persons, if such person or every person constituting such group is a citizen of India; or

(ii) Firm or governmental or non-governmental organisation, if such firm or organisation is formed or established in India.

(3) On receiving a claim under sub-section (2), the Authority shall send a copy of such claim to the breeder of the variety registered under such certificate and the breeder may, on receipt of such copy, submit his opposition to such claim within such period and in such manner as may be prescribed.

(4) The Authority shall, after giving an opportunity of being heard to the parties, dispose of the claim received under sub-section (2).

(5) While disposing of the claim under sub-section (4), the Authority shall explicitly indicate in its order the amount of the benefit sharing, if any, for which the claimant shall be entitled and shall take into consideration the following matters, namely:-
 
(a) The extent and nature of the use of genetic material of the claimant in the development of the variety relating to which the benefit sharing has been claimed;

(b) The commercial utility and demand in the market of the variety relating to which the benefit sharing has been claimed.

(6) The amount of benefit sharing to a variety determined under this section shall be deposited by the breeder of such variety in the manner referred to in clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 45 in the National Gene Fund.

(7) The amount of benefit sharing determined under this section shall, on a reference made by the Authority in the prescribed manner, be recoverable as an arrear of land revenue by the District Magistrate within whose local limits of jurisdiction the breeder liable for such benefit sharing resides.



(1) The breeder shall be required to deposit such quantity of seeds or propagating material including parental line seeds of registered variety in the National Gene Bank as may be specified in the regulations for reproduction purpose at the breeder's expense within such time as may be specified in that regulation.

(2) The seeds or propagating material 01 parental line seeds to be deposited under sub¬section (1) shall be deposited to the National Gene Bank specified by the Authority.



(1) Subject to the other provisions of this Act, a certificate of registration for a variety issued under this Act shall confer an exclusive right on the breeder or his successor, his agent or licensee, to produce, sell, market, distribute, import or export the variety:

Provided that in the case of an extant variety, unless a breeder or his successor establishes his right, the Central Government, and in cases where such extant variety is notified for a State or for any area thereof under section 5 of the Seeds Act, 1966 (54 of 1966), the State Government, shall be deemed to be the owner of such right.

(2) A breeder may authorise any person to produce, sell, market or otherwise deal with the variety registered under this Act subject to such limitations and conditions as may be specified by regulations.

(3) Every authorisation under this section shall be in such form as may be specified by regulations.

(4) Where an agent or a licensee referred to in sub-section (1) becomes entitled to produce, sell, market, distribute, import or export a variety, he shall apply in the prescribed manner and with the prescribed fees to the Registrar to register his title and the Registrar shall, on receipt of application and on proof of title to his satisfaction, register him as an agent or a licensee, as the case may be, in respect of the variety for which he is entitled for such right, and shall cause particulars of such entitlement and conditions or restrictions, if any, subject to which such entitlement is made, to be entered in the Register:

Provided that when the validity of such entitlement is in dispute between the parties, the Registrar may refuse to register the entitlement and refer the matter in the prescribed manner to the Authority and withhold the registration of such entitlement until the right of the parties in dispute so referred to has been determined by the Authority.

(5) The Registrar shall issue a certificate of registration under sub-section (4) to the applicant after such registration and shall enter in the certificate the brief conditions of entitlement, if any, in the prescribed manner, and such certificate shall be the conclusive proof of such entitlement and the conditions or restrictions thereof, if any.

(6) Subject to any agreement subsisting between the parties, an agent or licensee of a right to a variety registered under sub-section (4) shall be entitled to call upon the breeder or his successor thereof to take proceedings to prevent infringement thereof, and if the breeder or his successor refuses or neglects to do so within three months after being so called upon, such registered agent or licensee may institute proceedings for infringement in his own name as if he were the breeder, making the breeder or his successor a defendant.

(7) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law, a breeder or his successor so added as defendant shall not be liable for any costs unless he enters an appearance and takes part in the proceedings.

(8) Nothing in this section shall confer on a registered agent or registered licensee of a variety any right to transfer such right further thereof.

(9) Without prejudice to the registration under sub-section (4), the terms of registration-
 
(a) May be varied by the Registrar as regards the variety in respect of which, or any condition or restriction subject to which, it has effect on receipt of an application in the prescribed manner of the registered breeder of such variety or his successor;

(b) May be cancelled by the Registrar on the application in the prescribed manner of the registered breeder of such variety or his successor or of the registered agent or registered licensee of such variety;

(c) May be cancelled by the Registrar on the application in the prescribed manner of any person other than the breeder, his successor, the registered agent or the registered licensee on any of the following grounds, namely:-

(i) That the breeder of a variety or his successor or the registered agent or registered licensee of such variety, misrepresented, or failed to disclose, some fact material to the application for registration under sub-section (4) which if accurately represented or disclosed would have justified the refusal of the application for registration of the registered agent or registered licensee;

(ii) That the registration ought not to have been effected having regard to the right vested in the applicant by virtue of a contract in the performance of which he is interested;

(d) May be cancelled by the Registrar on the application in the prescribed manner of the breeder of a registered variety or his successor on the ground mat any stipulation in the agreement between the registered agent or the registered licensee, as the case may be and such breeder or his successor regarding the variety for which such agent or licensee is registered is not being enforced or is not being complied with;

(e) May be cancelled by the Registrar on the application of any person in the prescribed manner on the ground that the variety relating to the registration is no longer existing.

(10) The Registrar shall issue notice in the prescribed manner of every application under this section to the registered breeder of a variety or his successor and to each registered agent or registered licensee (not being the applicant) of such variety.
 
(11) The Registrar shall, before making any order under sub-section (9), forward the application made in that behalf along with any objection received by any party after notice under sub-section (10) for the consideration of the Authority, and the Authority may, after making such inquiry as it thinks fit, issue such directions to the Registrar as it thinks fit and the Registrar shall dispose of the application in accordance with such directions.



(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, no registration of a variety shall be made under this Act in cases where prevention of commercial exploitation of such variety is necessary to protect public order or public morality or human, animal and plant life and health or to avoid serious prejudice to the environment.

(2) The Central Government shall, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify the genera or species for the purposes of registration of varieties other than extant varieties and farmers' varieties under this Act.

(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (2) and sub-sections (1) and (2) of section 15, no variety of any genera or species which involves any technology which is injurious to the life or health of human beings, animals or plants shall be registered under this Act.

Explanation.-For the purposes of this sub-section, the expression "any technology" includes genetic use restriction technology and terminator technology.

(4) The Central Government shall not delete any genera or species from the list of genera or species specified in a notification issued under sub-section (2) except in the public interest.

(5) Any variety belonging to the genera or species excluded under sub-section (4) shall not be eligible for any protection under this Act.



Nothing contained in this Act shall prevent-

(a) The use of any variety registered under this Act by any person using such variety for conducting experiment or research; or

(b) The use of a variety by any person as an initial source of variety for the purpose of creating other varieties:

Provided that the authorisation of the breeder of a registered variety is required where the repeated use of such variety as a parental line is necessary for commercial production of such other newly developed variety.



(1) With a view to the fulfillment of a treaty, convention or arrangement with any country outside India which affords to citizens of India similar privileges as granted to its own citizens, the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare such country to be a convention country for the purposes of this Act.

(2) Where a person has made an application for the granting of a breeder's right to a variety or for entering such variety in the official register of varieties in a convention country and that person, or any person entitled to make application on his behalf under section 14 or section 23, makes an application for the registration of such variety in India within twelve months after the date on which the application was made in the convention country, such variety shall, if registered under this Act, be registered as of the date on which the application was made in the convention country and that date shall be deemed for the purposes of this Act to be the date of registration.

(3) Where applications have been made for granting of a breeder's right to a variety, or for entering such variety in the official register of varieties in two or more convention countries, the period of twelve months referred to in sub-section (2) shall be reckoned from the date on which the earlier or earliest of those applications were made.

(4) Nothing in this Act shall entitle the breeder of a registered variety for infringement of rights other than protected under this Act which took place prior to the date of application of registration under this Act.



Where any country declared by the Central Government in this behalf by notification in the Official Gazette under sub-section (1) of section 31 does not accord to citizens of India the same rights in respect of the registration and protection of a variety, as it accords to its own nationals, no national of such country shall be entitled, either solely or jointly with any other person, to apply for the registration of a variety or be entitled to get a variety registered under this Act.

Last updated on August, 2016

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