Policy on plant material ownership
Ownership and use of plant material and DNA profiles supplied to the Plant Variety Rights Office (PVRO)
1. Key principles
PVRO provides effective communication with variety owners with respect to the use of plant material and DNA profiles.
PVR acknowledges that plant material should only be made available to any party, other than the variety owner, in such a way that the legitimate interests of the variety owner would be safeguarded.
PVRO is the custodian of plant material and DNA profiles submitted as a requirement or voluntarily.
PVRO usage of plant material and DNA profiles is for DUS testing and other official purposes only and any plant material usage outside the scope of testing requires the consent of the variety owner.
2. Plant material
The variety owner or breeder is the owner of any plant material submitted to PVRO for official purposes. This includes material supplied to a PVR Variety Collection as part of the testing process. PVRO has the role of custodian of all plant material, irrespective of the physical location of the collection or the growing trial.
Where plant material of a provisionally protected or a protected variety is supplied to a growing trial site for testing purposes at the request of the trial site coordinator, on behalf of PVRO, the status of the plant material is the same as if supplied to a PVR Variety Collection.
Plant material which has been supplied to a DUS growing trial or variety collection which is surplus to requirements, no longer needed or not required for any official purpose can be disposed of with the consent of the breeder. This also applies to any harvested products from the variety collection or growing trial.
The use of submitted plant material for any purpose other than for DUS testing or other official purpose requires the consent of the variety owner. PVRO will notify a variety owner if plant material is supplied to another national authority carrying out DUS testing.
In cases where an application is refused or withdrawn, the plant material of that variety would be destroyed or may be retained in the variety collection following consultation with the owner.
Plant material samples supplied from a variety collection for infringement cases can be made available to any party with the consent of the variety owner.
PVRO will hold plant material in the Variety Collection for all surrendered, cancelled and expired varieties. At a point when that plant material requires to be renewed, and new material is no longer maintained or not readily available, the variety may be considered to be no longer of Common Knowledge.
3. DNA profiles
The variety owner or breeder is the owner of any profile held by PVRO. The submission of a profile which is held on a variety file is entirely at the variety owner’s discretion and is done so with the full knowledge that the profile could be made available to other parties under Section 8 of the Plant Variety Rights Act 1987 or the Official Information Act 1982.
PVRO would be free to use a DNA profile submitted by an owner for DUS testing or other official purposes such as identity checking and management of variety collections.
4. Descriptions and photographs from plant material used for DUS Testing
In the course of all testing, a variety description is drafted and for many varieties is supported by photographs. The description and photos are entered into the IPONZ case management system and become accessible to the public if a Grant is issued. Additional variety description records or data which may not be included in the formal variety description itself, but held in the management system, may be available on request. The public access to documents and photographs originating from submitted plant material is consistent with the release of Official Information under the Official Information Act 1982.