What rights are granted under the Plant Breeders Rights Act?

The plant breeder is given exclusive rights to sell and produce new plant varieties for 18 years from the date a certificate of registration is issued under the Plant Breeder's Rights Act. 

In the U.S. a plant patent is granted for the same term as patents for inventions.

What plant varieties are protected?

In Canada, a new plant variety is one that:

(a) by reason of one or more identifiable characteristics,  is clearly distinguishable from all varieties the existence of which is a matter of common knowledge;
(b) is stable in its essential characteristics after repeated reproduction or propagation; and
(c) is, having regard to the particular features of its sexual reproduction or vegetative propagation, a sufficiently homogeneous variety.

In the U.S. a plant patent may be granted for an asexually reproduced, distinct and new variety of plant including cultivated sports, mutants, hybrids and newly found seedlings, other than a tuber propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state.

How long do I have to file for protection?

An application must be filed prior to any sale or public disclosure of the new variety.

What steps must be taken to maintain protection?

Throughout the period of registration, a holder of the plant breeder’s rights must be in a position to furnish, on request, propagating material to the Commissioner.

In Canada, the rights are subject to a compulsory license, which arise upon the application by any person.   The objectives for granting a compulsory license are to ensure that the plant variety is available to the public at reasonable prices, is widely distributed, and is maintained in quality.