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What is the process for applying for PBR in Australia?

What should I consider before applying for PBR?

Factors that might be relevant in your specific circumstances, and that may influence your decision to apply for plant breeder's rights (PBR), include:

  • whether your new variety might already have been bred. To find out, you can search IP Australia's PBR database. The database has information on all PBR varieties in Australia
  • the cost of applying for PBR. View the latest PBR fees on IP Australia's website.
  • the cost of undertaking growing trials. A qualified person, who has been accredited as such by IP Australia, will be able to help you estimate that cost.

PBR application process

You can make an application for PBR to IP Australia. You can apply online, via fax or mail, or in person.

Acceptance of the application

If IP Australia is satisfied with your application, it 'accepts' the application, normally within a few months.

The result of acceptance by IP Australia is that you achieve provisional protection of the new plant variety.

Growing trial

The next major stage is undertaking a comparative growing trial of the new plant variety, which can take up to 18 months to complete.

The purpose of the growing trial is to demonstrate the 3 requirements for granting PBR - distinctness, uniformity and stability (see 'What are the requirements to register PBR').

Many applicants engage a 'qualified person' to plan and oversee the growing trial. Most trials are undertaken at centralised test centres.

Propagating material of the new variety must also be deposited in a genetic resources centre.

Examination

Further information relating to the growing trial is submitted to IP Australia.

IP Australia then examines the application. This might include a visit to the site where the growing trial is conducted.

After examination, if the eligibility for PBR is established, details of the application are published in the 'Plant Varieties Journal'.

Third parties have 6 months from publication in the 'Plant Varieties Journal' to oppose the application. PBR is granted if there are no oppositions by third parties, or any oppositions are resolved.

Granting a PBR can take about 2½ years, or even longer in the case of slow-growing plants and trees.