Bundessortenamt

Plant Breeders' Rights (PBR)

PBR are private protection rights, similar to patent rights, and protect the intellectual property of a plant variety. Plant Breeders' Rights consequently promote plant breeding and the breeding progress made in agriculture and horticulture. Every breeder or discoverer of a new variety can apply for PBR at the Bundessortenamt for new varieties from the whole plant kingdom, according to the German Variety Protection Law. PBR are granted if the variety is distinct, uniform, stable and new. Furthermore, it must have a variety denomination. The Plant Breeders' Rights stipulate that only the owner or his legal successor has the right to produce, trade or import propagating material of the protected variety on a commercial basis. A breeder who uses propagating material of an already protected variety to breed a new variety, does not need to obtain permission from the PBR holder.

Plant Breeders' Rights are granted for 25 years or, in the case of potatoes, vine and trees, for 30 years.

Since 1997, essential derivations, i.e. distinct varieties originating from a protected variety that are "essentially" similar to the original variety, are also protected. Moreover, it became necessary for breeders under certain circumstances to obtain a licence and pay royalties for reproduction in their own companies.

The requirements for PBR are tested in the field or in the greenhouse and are supplemented by laboratory tests.

Following the national and international test guidelines, characteristics for the assessment of Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability are examined and registered on the basis of field or greenhouse tests.


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