Thursday Oct 06, 2022

Plant variety rights: how IP is giving Mother Nature a helping hand

Plant breeding is often a time and resource heavy activity, so it is important that breeders can achieve a return on their efforts.  Plant variety rights (PVRs) or plant breeders rights (PBR) are a form of intellectual property (IP) that protects the work a breeder puts into developing a new plant variety.

As climate change accelerates, plant breeding programs are being used by agricultural businesses to develop plants that are able to cope, and thrive in, the changing environment. By engaging with the IP system, breeders can generate a financial return on the investment they have put into those crops, incentivising the creation of plants which are suitable for a changing environment.

As Dr. Nikki Templeton, Patent Executive at AJ Park explains to host Lisa Leong, a PVR or a PBR is one tool in the kit you can use to protect your variety. Alongside a PVR you also want to be thinking about licensing and commercialisation strategies.  This may require both domestic and international IP strategies, so it’s important to consider this before taking the variety to market.  

It’s a niche IP system requiring in depth knowledge of the intricacies of working with living materials and nature. Gain a better understanding of the ways to obtain IP protection for new plant varieties in the final episode of From Idea to Intellectual Property podcast series.

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