IPONZ hosts an annual PVR Focus Group meeting each year in August. It comprises the PVR office and organisations involved in agriculture and horticulture - grain and seed, fruit and nursery. This meeting is a formal avenue to exchange information and for industry and users to provide input into the national variety protection scheme.
Met 23 August - key matters discussed included:
In the last year the PVR Office reports an increase in applications and on average quicker progress through to grant. It has posted a technical note to its website providing guidance on growing trials for DUS (distinct, uniform and stable) - view it at www.iponz.govt.nz/cms/pvr. Chris Barnaby is developing a paper on another contentious and often misunderstood matter - plant naming, denominations and commercial synonyms.
Plant labelling issues were discussed; specifically that it is an offence under the Act to sell a protected plant without including its denomination being identified or to claim PVR when it is not protected. These compliance matters are the responsibility of MBIE and we anticipate they will become more active in enforcement. Of note however, while it is required to include the denomination in any naming, the Act does not require that the fact the plant is protected to be stated.
Additionally these requirements are not to be confused with the fact that any action against people propagating protected plants without the breeders permission are the subject of legal action by the breeder, not MBIE. The law does not provide for the latter.
IPONZ’s new web based case management system is of interest to many, and we’re told that things have improved dramatically. If this is not the case, please let us know. In part problems with the system are ones of familiarity with a new system, but others have not been as easily rectified (from a user perspective); many components were just not intuitive or readily completed for some aspects of PVR (as compared to other more conventional IP management processes).