Tel:(012) 342 1774
Fax:(012) 342 3027
222 Richard Street, Hatfield, 0083, South Africa
P.O.Box 13575 Hatfield 0028
Republic of South Africa
Docex 219 Pretoria
Town Branch Office
Mon - Thurs: 08h00 to 16h30
Friday: 08h00 to 14h30
We are closed on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays although
our professional staff can often be reached on their emails after
hours or by prior arrangement.
Protectable under the Act
In order to be registrable, a plant must be prescribed, i.e.
named in the list of "kinds of plant" which is set out in Table
1 of the Regulations under the Act. This list is varied from
time to time, and a full list can be supplied upon request.
of Plant Breeders' Rights
Rights of Holders
of Plant Breeders' Right has the sole right to produce, sell,
import, export, etc. the propagating or harvested material in
South Africa. Should any party wish to undertake the production
or reproduction, conditioning for the purpose of propagation,
sale or any other form of marketing, importing, exporting, or
stocking for any of these purposes of propagating material or
harvested material, this person must obtain authority by way
of a licence from the holder of the Plant Breeders' Rights.
Rights are granted for 25 years for vines and trees, and for
20 years for all other cases calculated from the date on which
a certificate of registration is issued.
to keep a Plant Breeders' Right in force, it is necessary to
pay annual fees. The first annual fee is payable by January
1 of the year following the date of grant. Subsequent annual
fees are payable by January 1 of each successive year for the
duration of the right.
propagating material sold for purposes of propagation must indicate
the denomination of the variety on a label attached thereto,
or if it is packed, on its container.
for varieties to be new, distinct, uniform and stable
for varieties to be new, distinct, uniform and stable must be
complied with to obtain protection. A variety is distinct if,
at the date of filing of the application for a plant breeder's
right, it is clearly distinguishable from any other variety
of the same kind of plant of which the existence on that date
is a matter of common knowledge. A variety is uniform if, subject
to the variation that may be expected from the particular features
of the propagation thereof, it is sufficiently uniform with
regard to the characteristics of the variety in question. A
variety is stable if the characteristics thereof remain unchanged
after repeated propagation or, in the case of a particular cycle
of propagation, at the end of each such cycle.
In order to file an application for Plant Breeders' Rights,
we require :
full particulars of the applicant and breeder or breeders,
including names, addresses and nationalities;
if the breeder or breeders is or are not the applicant, the
manner in which the applicant obtained rights to file the
application. Documentary proof, e.g. a deed of assignment,
the proposed denomination, which must comply with Section
10 of the Act;
the country in which the variety was bred or discovered;
particulars of preceding applications in other countries for
Plant Breeders' Rights or for inclusion in official variety
lists in respect of the same plant, including dates of filing,
application numbers, stages of prosecution, and dates of allowance
and denominations used;
if propagating material and/or harvested material of the variety
has already been offered for sale or has been marketed, details
of the countries in which, dates on which, and denominations
under which, this took place;
a completed technical questionnaire. We can obtain a suitable
questionnaire from the Registrar, although generally, technical
questionnaires used in other UPOV Convention countries, will
a power of attorney, executed by or on behalf of the applicant;
propagating material as prescribed, typically 5 specimen plants,
for examination purposes.
All requirements, including the propagating material, must be
supplied to the Registrar within 12 months of the filing of
the application. However, this period is extendible upon application
to the Registrar.
and Prosecuting of Application
In addition to the requirements set out in 4.1, the application
must be accompanied by Schedule A ("Application for Plant Breeders'
Rights") and Schedule B ("Proposed Denomination") forms. We
normally prepare and execute these forms. The application must
also be accompanied by the prescribed filing and examination
After filing an application for Plant Breeders' Rights, a formal
examination of the application is conducted by the Registrar.
If the application is formally in order, the application is
published in the Government Gazette by the Registrar. Any person
may, within a period of six months from such publication, object
to the grant of Plant Breeders' Rights.
The Registrar thereafter submits the propagating material of
variety to tests and trials. If the Registrar does not have
the facilities for testing the plant in question, he is empowered
to submit it to an appropriate authority, either locally or
The application will remain pending for a period of the order
of one to three years until the conclusion of the examination
by the Registrar, whereafter, if the results of the examination
are satisfactory, Plant Breeders' Rights will be granted and
a registration certificate issued.
If we receive all the documents ready for filing, the costs
of filing an application for Plant Breeders' Rights will be
in the region of R5000 to R6500, including the filing fee and
the examination fee. The examination fee varies depending on
the kind of plant. An additional charge will be made for any
additional work in preparing documents for filing, completing
forms, etc., dependent upon the amount of work involved.
The costs of responding to any objections raised by the
Registrar will depend upon the amount of work involved.
Annual Fees cost in the region of R500 to R700, dependent again
upon the kind of plant.
Priority rights can be claimed from a previous application in
a country which has subscribed to the UPOV Convention provided
that the South African application is filed within 12 months
of the date of deposition in the Convention Country. A certified
copy of the previous application must be filed within 3 months
of the date of filing the South African application.
Conversely, an application in another country can claim
convention priority from a basic South African application if
the country is a Convention Country, and provided the foreign
application is filed within one year of the basic South African
The UPOV Convention Countries are (9 November 2004) :
Republic of Korea
Republic of Moldova
Trinidad & Tobago
Unites States of America