Comparison among UPOV Acts and Patents
The member countries of UPOV were following UPOV Act (UPOV, 1978). This has now been modified as UPOV Act (1991). The essential features of these acts are summarized and are briefly described below.
1. Coverage extended from the nationally defined plant species (UPOV, 1978) to all plant genera and species (UPOV, 1991).
2. Requirement of novelty is added (UPOV, 1991).
3. Duration of protection increased to 20 yr (UPOV, 1991) from 15 yr in UPOV.
4. Protection extended to all materials (UPOV, 1991) in the place of reproductive material UPOV, 1978)) of the protected variety
5. Breeder’s exemption withdrawn (UPOV, 1991) from essential derived varieties.
Thus UPOV (1991) has strengthened PBR protection in comparison to the UPOV Act ( 1978) so that it is now more comparable to a patent. Most of the member states had signed UPOV Act, 1991 but it is yet to be ratified.