Orders affecting your Rights: compulsory licences or sale orders
At least three years after the date Rights were granted, any person may lodge an application for a compulsory licence for the variety concerned. The request must be accompanied by payment of the prescribed fee and a detailed explanation as to why a compulsory licence should be granted. The explanation should be substantive and support documentation from at least one other party is desirable. The Commissioner is required to consider whether or not reasonable quantities of reproductive material (plants, seeds, etc.), of a reasonable quality of the protected variety concerned are available for purchase by members of the public at a reasonable price.
The Commissioner is also required to give the owner of the protected variety due notice of the application and the opportunity for all parties concerned to be heard. The process to progress the application will be set out early and will be fair and balanced for all. This process may be lengthy taking into account the possibility of multiple questions and responses from those involved. After considering the request the Commissioner may, if he considers it warranted, issue a compulsory licence or a compulsory sale order to the person who made the request. Any decision of the Commissioner can be appealed as provided for in the Plant Variety Rights Act 1987.
A compulsory licence permits its holder to produce for sale and to sell reproductive material of the protected variety within the terms of the licence set by the Commissioner. A compulsory sale order may be applied where a person wishes to grow that variety but not produce reproductive material for sale.
In every case the Commissioner will require the person granted a compulsory licence or sale order to pay a specified royalty to the holder of the Plant Variety Rights grant.