How to apply for a plant variety right
Who can apply?
Only the owner of a new variety is entitled to a grant of Rights. The owner is the breeder or discoverer of the variety, the owner’s employer (for example, a company), or a subsequent legal rights holder, known as a “successor-in-title”. An application can also be made by an agent on behalf of the owner.
Any person or business from anywhere in the world can submit an application, but all applications must be in English and indicate an address-for-service in New Zealand. New Zealand breeders (individuals or organisations) normally prefer to deal directly with IPONZ/the PVR Office. Overseas breeders generally arrange for their New Zealand agent to attend to the details of application.
Experience shows it is best for all concerned if the appointed agent has first-hand knowledge of the new variety. Often the obvious and appropriate agent for the PVR application is the individual or organisation in New Zealand primarily responsible for handling plant material of the new variety (for example, importing, evaluating, bulking-up, and distribution). For example, the agent for an overseas crop variety could be a local seed company or the agent for a fruit or ornamental variety could be a local nursery.
a) Application made through agent
The agent must provide the Commissioner with evidence of the necessary authority to act for the variety owner.
b) Application made by successor-in-title
If you claim to be the successor-in-title of the breeder, you must supply documentary evidence to the Commissioner sufficient to establish your legal rights to ownership of the variety.
How do I apply?
You can apply for Plant Variety Rights online by submitting the following as part of the online application form:
- A completed technical questionnaire applicable to the particular genus.
- In the case of every application for fruit, ornamental, tree or vegetable variety you should supply a photograph or image as specified.
Supply a colour image or photograph representative of the variety and displaying as well as possible its chief distinguishing feature(s). The image or photographs may be of the whole plant of the new variety and/or of plant parts such as the fruit or the flowers, whichever is most appropriate. Do not supply an image or photograph of the original bred or discovered plant, or in the case of a new mutation or sport the plant part from which the variety originated. Instead you should supply the image or photograph based upon plants or trees propagated from the original plant or plant part
- A seed sample for an arable crop, pasture plant, amenity grass or vegetable variety. See more information about the specific types of seed that must accompany an application.
- Payment of the relevant fee.
Once you have logged in you will be taken to your User Inbox. Under the Plant Variety Right section select Apply for Plant Variety Right.
Note | You are able to save your incomplete application at any stage by selecting Save on the bottom right corner of the page. To retrieve a saved application choose Apply for and in the section Your saved Plant Variety Rights requests you will be able to Select and complete your previously saved application.
Saved applications that have not been completed will be kept for a 90 days, after which they will be deleted automatically from the system.
Ensure you fill in all required Fields (marked with a red dot). If you need help, select and hold the cursor over the chosen field box and a help dialogue box will appear.
On the application form you will see:
Reference: Enter your reference for the application. You should use a different reference for each application. You will be prompted if you enter a previously used reference by mistake.
Contact: Tell us who you are. If you are the applicant, select that you are acting ‘in my own right’. If you are acting ‘As an agent’ then selecting this option will cause your details to populate the agent details and the case contact.
If the applicant is not the breeder, you can remove and add the breeder’s details. You will also need to supply an evidence of ownership by upload document to explain how you have acquired the ownership of the right.
PVR Information: Enter the details of your application here.
Botanical name: Specific kind of plant by using the dropdown list. The system will automatically pre-populate the UPOV code on the application form. If the variety you wish to apply for belongs to a genus or species absent from the drop down list, please contact us.
Proposed denomination: Enter your proposed denomination. The denomination is the generic designation or variety name which is the legal identifier for the variety. Where application is made in more than one country the same denomination must be used. You may defer proposing a denomination until after application.
Breeder’s reference: Enter a breeder’s reference, which the breeder uses to identify the variety. Use of a breeder’s reference is also voluntary however you need to supply either a proposed demonization OR breeder’s reference when filing an application.
Commercial synonyms: Another or marketing name under which the variety may know in commerce.
Protection: If applications have been made in other countries you can provide further details by selecting Add to upload your documents.
You can provide further information about any outstanding examination or in progress examination by selecting country using the dropdown list and date for the Technical Examination already completed field and the Technical Examination already in progress field.
If the variety has been sold or offered for sale in New Zealand or abroad, you can provide further information by selecting Add to upload your documents for Sold or Offered for sale field.
Species-Specific Technical Questionnaire: You need to upload your completed technical questionnaire by selecting Add to upload the questionnaire. A list of commonly used technical questionnaires can be found and downloaded here.
Use of Variety: Specific kind of variety for this application.
- For Crop, pasture, amenity grass and vegetable variety, you will have to supply a seed sample and germination test certificate.
- For fruit, ornamental and tree variety, you will have to supply colour photographs. The image or photographs may be of the whole plant and/or of plant parts such as fruit or the flowers where appropriate.
Breeder’s Details: Select search to enter the details of the breeder if it is different from the applicant.
The Variety was transferred to the applicant(s) by: Select the appropriate right for the applicant(s).
Priority: If you are claiming an earlier filing date based on an overseas application you will need to enter the details of the overseas application. Select ADD and enter the overseas application number, priority date and country where the application was first made. A convention document may be uploaded at this time but is not mandatory.
Submitting your online application
- When you have completed the application form click Submit.
(Note: If there is an error or omission in the form a message will display in red at the top of the screen).
- Check your application thoroughly and make any final changes before submitting it. If you would like to save your application without submitting it press Save. You can generate a printout of your application, by clicking Generate PDF summary.
Select Submit when you wish to proceed to payment. Your fee description will be displayed at the bottom of the main application page and on the payment page.
- Payment: If you have a direct debit facility loaded to your IPONZ user account you can choose the Direct Debit option for payment. Otherwise click Credit Card and fill in the credit card form. Once your application has been submitted you will receive a notification to the e-mail address that was listed in the contact details. A confirmation and summary of the submission of the design application will then appear in the discussion section of your IPONZ inbox.
What happens next?
Review The PVR process section for more information on the application process.