Plant Varieties and Seeds Act 1964

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1964 c. 14


Plant Varieties and SeedsAct 1964

1964 CHAPTER 14

An Act to provide for the granting of proprietary rights to persons who breed or discover plant varieties and for the issue of compulsory licences in respect thereof; to establish a tribunal to hear appeals and other proceedings relating to the rights, and to exclude certain agreements relating to the rights from Part I of the Restrictive Trade Practices Act 1956; to confer power to regulate, and to amend in other respects the law relating to, transactions in seeds and seed potatoes, including provision for the testing of seeds and seed potatoes, the establishment of an index of names of varieties and the imposition of restrictions as respects the introduction of new varieties; to control the import of seeds and seed potatoes; to authorise measures to prevent injurious cross-pollination; and for connected purposes.

[12th March 1964]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Plant Breeders' Rights

Part I

Plant Breeders' Rights

S-1 Grant of plant breeders' rights.

1 Grant of plant breeders' rights.

(1) Rights, to be known as plant breeders' rights, may be granted in accordance with this Part of this Act in respect of plant varieties of such species or groups as may be prescribed by a scheme made by the Ministers under this Part of this Act.

(2) Subject to this Part of this Act, plant breeders' rights shall be granted to an applicant by the Controller of the Plant Variety Rights Office established under this Part of this Act (hereafter in this Act referred to as ‘the Controller’) on being satisfied that the conditions laid down in the next following section are fulfilled.

(3) Schedule 1 to this Act shall have effect for the protection of an applicant pending the decision to allow or refuse his application for the grant of plant breeders' rights.

(4) An appeal shall lie to the Tribunal established under this Part of this Act (hereafter in this Act referred to as ‘the Tribunal’) against the decision of the Controller to allow or refuse an application for the grant of plant breeders' rights.

(5) Before making a scheme under this Part of this Act the Ministers shall consult the Controller and representatives of such interests as appear to the Ministers to be concerned, and any scheme under this Part of this Act—

(a ) may make different provision for different species or groups of plant varieties,

(b ) may contain such supplemental, incidental and transitional provisions as appear to the Ministers to be appropriate, and

(c ) may be varied or revoked by a subsequent scheme,

so, however, that the variation or revocation of a scheme shall not prejudice a grant of plant breeders' rights made before the variation or revocation takes effect.

(6) A scheme under this Part of this Act shall be made by statutory instrument which shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

S-2 Conditions for grant of rights.

2 Conditions for grant of rights.

(1) The conditions laid down in this section must be fulfilled as respects an applicant for plant breeders' rights and the plant variety to which the application relates.

(2) The applicant must be the person who bred or discovered the variety, or his successor in title, and the provisions of Part I of Schedule 2 to this Act shall have effect as respects priorities between two or more persons who have independently bred or discovered a variety.

(3) The variety must conform to the rules in Part II of Schedule 2 to this Act.

(4) References in this section and Schedule 2 to this Act to the discovery of a plant variety are references to the discovery of a plant variety, whether growing in the wild or occurring as a genetic variant, whether artificially induced or not.

S-3 Period for which rights are exercisable.

3 Period for which rights are exercisable.

(1) A scheme under this Part of this Act shall prescribe the period, being a period not exceeding 25 years, for which plant breeders' rights are to be exercisable.

(2) As respects fruit trees and their root-stocks, forest and ornamental trees and grape vines the period so prescribed shall be not less than 18 years, and a statement in a scheme under this Part of this Act to the effect that a species or group of plant varieties falls under this subsection shall be conclusive.

(3) As respects plant varieties not falling under the last foregoing subsection the period so prescribed shall be not less than 15 years.

(4) Subject to the following provisions of this section, the period for which plant breeders' rights are exercisable shall be the relevant period prescribed by a scheme under this Part of this Act, beginning with the date on which the grant of the plant breeders' rights by the Controller takes effect.

(5) If on the application of the holder of any plant breeders' rights the Controller is satisfied that, for reasons beyond the control of the applicant, the holder has not been adequately remunerated by the grant of the rights, the Controller may extend the period for which his plant breeders' rights are exercisable, subject to such restrictions, conditions and other provisions, if any, as may be directed by the Controller so, however,—

(a ) that the period as extended shall not exceed 25 years, and

(b ) where the period as extended is less than 25 years, no further extension shall be made under this subsection.

An appeal shall lie to the Tribunal against the decision of the Controller to allow or refuse an application under this subsection.

(6) The holder of plant breeders' rights may at any time make an application to the Controller offering to surrender his rights and if, after notice of the application has been given in the manner prescribed by regulations under this Part of this Act, and after the procedure so prescribed for hearing any person on whom the right to object is conferred by such regulations has been followed, the Controller is satisfied that the rights may properly be surrendered, he may accept the offer and terminate the period for which the rights are exercisable.

An appeal shall lie to the Tribunal from any decision of the Controller under this subsection.

(7) The Controller shall terminate the period for which any plant breeders' rights are exercisable if at any time he is satisfied—

(a ) that any information submitted in the application for the grant of the rights, or any information submitted by or on behalf of the applicant in connection with the application, was incorrect and that, if the Controller had known before the grant that it was incorrect, he would have refused the grant, or

(b ) that facts have been discovered which, if known before the grant, would have resulted in the grant being refused on the grounds that rule 1 or rule 2 in Part II of Schedule 2 to this Act was not satisfied in respect of the plant variety.

(8) The Controller shall revoke or, if it has begun, terminate any extension under subsection (5) of this section of the period for which any plant breeders' rights are exercisable if at any time he is satisfied that any information submitted in the application under that subsection, or any information submitted by or on behalf of the applicant in connection with the application, was incorrect and that, if the Controller had known before deciding to allow the application that it was incorrect, he would have refused the application.

(9) An appeal shall lie to the Tribunal against any decision of the Controller to act under subsection (7) or subsection (8) of this section.

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