Plant Variety Rights are presently available for varieties of any kind of plant other than algae and bacteria.
Note: Following international custom in the world of plant variety protection the word "variety" is used not in the sense of a "botanical variety" but rather as being synonymous with "cultivar" or "cultivated variety".
Plant Variety Rights are granted for a term of 20 years in the case of non-woody plants, or 23 years in the case of woody plants, beginning from the date when Rights are granted.
Search the PVR database to search for plant variety rights.
See Maintaining a PVR.
It is important to label and advertise your Rights
If you have applied for, or been granted, Plant Variety Rights, it is very much in your interest to make this known to the public when you sell or offer propagating material or whole plants for sale. Plant and seed labels and any advertising material should clearly show that the variety is protected under the Plant Variety Rights Act. If you do not take all reasonable steps to ensure that this is done, then you will not be entitled to receive damages through legal proceedings against anyone infringing your Rights.
However, take care with the wording of advertising material and seed or plant labels because it is an offence under the Plant Variety Rights Act to falsely represent that a variety is protected or subject to an application for a grant.
In your own interest as a Rights holder, as well as to comply with the Act, make sure you always use the approved variety denomination when you or your agents or licensees sell reproductive material from the protected variety.
Here are some guidelines for wording that should protect your interests as a Rights holder while avoiding the possibility of committing an offence:
If you have not made a Rights application and you don’t hold a current grant of Rights:
DO NOT use the word "Protected" or any wording that might imply that the variety is protected under the Plant Variety Rights Act 1987.
If you have made a Rights application, but the Commissioner has not reached a decision:
Suggested wording - "Provisional PVR protection", "Provisional Plant Variety Rights Protection" or "Provisionally protected under NZ Plant Variety Rights Act 1987".
DO NOT use the wording "Plant Variety Rights pending" or words implying that Rights will be granted. Such wording is misleading because it anticipates a decision favourable to the applicant.
If the variety is protected by a grant of Plant Variety Rights:
Suggested wording - "Protected by NZ Plant Variety Rights"; "Protected under NZ Plant Variety Rights Act 1987"; "NZ Plant Variety Rights Protection"; or words to that effect.
If none of the above has answered your question, please send your question to the Intellectual Property Office team.
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