Citrus and Plant Breeders Rights
Plant Breeders Rights gives you exclusive commercial rights for a registered variety of plant.
Citrus growers with a new variety may wish to apply for Plant Breeders Rights via the Plant Breeders Rights Office (PBR Office).
The PBR Office is Federal Government, under IP Australia https://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/
A good introduction to the PBR process is available here https://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/plant-breeders-rights/understanding-pbr/pbr-basics
Once you are on the website you will find a lot of detail addressing common questions.
A quick summary of the PBR process
The process starts with a Part 1 Application that gives you provisional protection while you prove your case.
In the Part 1 you describe the variety, who owns it, who discovered or bred it, where, and why it is unique.
Then you start Part 2.
To fulfil the requirements of part 2, and to protect a variety, applicants need to secure the services of a Qualified Person.
A Qualified Person under PBR is authorised to:
- Design a test trial. The trial includes the candidate plus comparator varieties.
- Test the new variety in a commercial orchard.
- Take measurements to compare it against pre-existing (comparator) varieties
- Provide data and statistical evidence of the variety’s unique characteristics
- Create an official description for publication in the Plant Varieties Journal.
Acting as a Qualified Person is a commercial service that falls outside the scope of Citrus Australia.
Cost estimate and time frame
There are several fees from the PBR office.
The Qualified Person also has to do a lot of data collection and analysis.
Depending on the variety and the trial requirements, and whether plants have to go through quarantine, the whole process costs between $5K and $15K, and takes between 3 and 5 years (trees need to be planted or grafted, bear two season crops, be tested, and then there are stats and the write up).
To find a QP https://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/tools-resources/qualified-persons-directory