Plant breeding right

A plant breeder's right is an exclusive right to exploit a plant variety commercially.

Why is the development of new plant varieties important?

This is important to ensure the world has enough healthy and safe food. At the same time, we must take environmental considerations into account, not destroy other nature and ensure that the plants are resistant to pests, diseases and climate change. This also applies to plants other than food, such as animal feed, plants for landscaping, trees for forestry, ornamental plants, etc.

Why apply for exclusive rights?

Plant breeding is a time-consuming and expensive process, and the plant breeder therefore needs an exclusive right to use the bred variety for a period of time.

What is plant breeders' rights?

A plant breeder's right is an exclusive right to exploit a plant variety commercially.

  • The protection period is twenty-five years for trees and vines, and twenty years for all other plants.
  • In order to be able to obtain an exclusive right, certain conditions are set in the Plant Breeding Act. The variety must be so-called DUS (Distinct, Uniform, Stable), i.e. distinguishable from other previously known varieties, uniform in view of the fact that the individuals are sufficiently similar and stable during reproduction.
  • In addition, the variety must be commercially new, and it must be given a suitable variety name. The variety name becomes the descriptive term for the variety.

The Plant Variety Board

It is the Plant Variety Board that awards plant breeders' rights in Norway. In the EU, this is managed by CPVO (Community Plant Variety Office) . Plant breeders' rights are outside the EEA agreement.

The rules on plant breeders' rights follow from the Plant Breeders' Act.

Plant variety names and trademarks

Plant variety names can be an obstacle to registering a trademark. Read more about when this is relevant in trademark cases.