PVR Act 1987 Reform Meeting

Untitled Document


PVR Act Reform Meeting
Wednesday 19 August
10am to 12noon
The Wellington Club,
L4, 88 The Terrace, Wellington

There has been recent progress in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations and it will likely include/require changes to our intellectual property legislation, PVR included. The adoption of UPOV91 will likely be on the agenda.

The NZ Grain & Seed Trade (NZGSTA) and NZ Plant Breeding & Research Associations (both mainly associated with cereals and arable crops) have been active in their advocacy for the adoption of UPOV91, particularly as it relates to the collection of royalties from farmer-saved seed. 

NZGSTA has included NGINZ in these discussions and we joined NZGSTA in a meeting with MBIE officials in May.

It is important that industry interests are promoted at early stages of the discussions and policy formulation.  To that end NZGSTA has organised a meeting of interested sector stakeholders to consider some of the issues (letter attached and details above).  This meeting is open to all who have an interest in plant intellectual property and will be facilitated by Stephen Franks, the principal of Franks Ogilvie, a Wellington-based firm.

Of course the specifics of future legislation will be also guided by the TPP, and consideration of Maori and WAI262 matters.  However some insight into the increased provisions for breeders rights that UPOV91 facilitates can be seen in a draft Bill that was prepared in 2002.  The (parked) draft Bill and other papers can be viewed here - http://www.med.govt.nz/business/intellectual-property/plant-variety-rights/review-of-the-plant-variety-rights-act-1987

In particular the Cabinet Paper summarises the main differences between UPOV78 and UPOV91, page 13 at http://www.med.govt.nz/business/intellectual-property/pdf-docs-library/plant-variety-rights/review-of-the-pvra-1987-pdf.

Conatct John Liddle, john@nginz.co.nz for more information and your feedback so we can work work to promote industry interests in the reform of the Act.  

If you intend joining us on 19 August would you please RSVP to both John Liddle, john@nginz.co.nz and Thomas Chin of NZGSTA, Thomas.chin@seedindustrynz.co.nz.



NZ PVR law is based upon a UPOV (International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants) convention, and we’re still operating under a 1978 convention.  It’s been superseded by a 1991 convention, one that gives breeder far more protection.  Around the world more and more people have adopted UPOV91, Australia for example; but it’s not that simple. Norway is actively campaigning against its adoption! Our progress was interrupted by a Waitangi Tribunal claim for flora and fauna, WAI 262.  The tribunal reported on this some time ago, but government is yet to respond.

In July NGINZ began collaboration with The Grain & Seed Trade Association and cut flower growers to advocate for UPOV91’s adoption.  It will not be a quick job, the consultation and advocacy task list is long and the election has “got in the way”. It’s also tied up in TPPA negotiations!