Plant Breeder’s Rights (PBR)
Plant breeder’s right (PBR) are granted by a government to the breeder, originator or owner of a variety. These rights empower the breeder to exclude others from producing or commercializing the propagating material of the protected variety for a period of at least 15-20 years. A person holding the PBR title to a variety can authorize other party parties to produce sell the propagating material of that variety. He is expected to set reasonable terms for the transfer of PBR title or for the sale of the propagating, materials, otherwise the government can grant license of the right in the public interest (this is called compulsory licensing).
In PBR, the variety is the subject of protection. The genetic components and the breeding procedures are not protected. PBR systems also contain some form of breeder’s exemption and farmers’ privilege.
An act to grant patents on plants was first introduced in Germany in 1866 subsequently. Similar acts were passed in U.S.A and other countries. In 1938, the International Organisation for plant Variety protection (ASSINEL) was established to persuade governments of different countries to introduce plant variety protection. The first UPOV (Union International pour la Protection des obstentions vegetables. International Union for protection of New Plant Varieties was signed in 1961 in Paris. UPOV had 24 members in September 1993 ( Australia) , Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany , Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, U.K and U.S.A. The member states of UPOV adopt PBR systems conforming to the broad framework agreed upon in the adopt PBR systems conforming to the broad framework agreed upon in the convention. In addition, nationals of one member state have rights in other member countries. India has recently developed its own PBR system.