Plant Breeders’ Rights

Helping plant breeders protect their assets.

Bereskin & Parr’s Plant Breeders’ Rights practice group is comprised of highly educated professionals with strong experience in obtaining Plant Breeders’ Rights as well as their use, licensing and sale. They hold graduate and doctorate degrees in biology, genetics and plant science.

Plant Breeders’ Rights (also known as Plant Variety rights) are a form of intellectual property rights which allow plant breeders to protect their new and distinct plant varieties.

To be eligible for Plant Breeders’ Rights in Canada, a variety must be new, distinct, uniform and stable. Varieties of all plant species are eligible for protection. The new varieties may be generated via traditional plant breeding or genetic engineering.

Once granted, the breeder or applicant gets exclusive rights to the propagating material of their variety for a period of 25 years for tree or vine varieties, and 20 years for all other varieties. These exclusive rights include the right to sell, produce and reproduce, import and export propagating material of the variety as well as the right to authorize others to do the same.

Before being granted Plant Breeders’ Rights, new plant varieties must be evaluated in Canadian comparative growing trials. Alternatively, for most varieties, test results from an International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) member country may be purchased for use in Canada.

Plant Breeders’ Rights can offer standalone intellectual property protection for new plant varieties or can form an important part of an overall intellectual property protection strategy, including patents.

Our Services

Members of our Plant Breeders’ Rights practice group provide services that include:

  • Preparing and prosecuting Plant Breeders’ Rights applications in Canada and worldwide.
  • Providing strategic advice on Plant Breeders’ Rights.
  • Preparing and negotiating Plant Breeders’ Rights licensing agreements.
  • Conducting due diligence investigations with respect to Plant Breeders’ Rights.
  • Enforcing Plant Breeders’ Rights.
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