Plant Breeder’s Rights Protection
Plant Breeder’s Right is a form of Intellectual Property. They grant a limited commercial monopoly to breeders of new plant varieties which allows Breeders the right to exclude others from certain activities including producing and reproducing the protected variety. PBR is personal property and can be assigned, sold and transferred to other parties.
There is no international system for filing PBR and generally applications need to be filed in each country where protection is being sought. The European Community is an exception where a single application relates to protection in all participating countries.
Turkey’s Plant Breeder’s Rights scheme
Turkey’s PBRs’ scheme is administered under the Law No. 5042 Protection of Breeder's Rights for New Plant Varieties and conforms with the International Union for the Protection of new Varieties of Plants (UPOV), as Turkey is a member of UPOV.
Turkish Scheme is being conducted by Turkish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry with a dual structure. These are General Directorate of Plant Production (BÜGEM) and Variety Registration and Seed Certification Center (TTSM).
BÜGEM (Turkish PBR Office) is the Office receiving and prosecuting the applications for plant breeder’s rights.
TTSM is the technical Office testing new plant variety applications, keeping the National Variety List and performing other technical procedures.
All the varieties and species listed under the code system of UPOV can be eligible to protection in Turkey.
The PBR scheme uses breeder testing to establish the Distinctiveness, Uniformity and Stability (DUS) of novel plant varieties. Using UPOV technical guidelines and procedures, breeders or their agents organize comparative trials to prove that each new variety meets the PBR criteria. Testing and examination procedures take place before the TTSM in Turkey.
However DUS tests, prepared or in preparation by the examination offices of any UPOV member country, can be submitted along with the Turkish PBR application and this will suspend TTSM’s examination without any time limit. This being the case, Turkish application will proceed to grant as soon as the DUS results and variety description documents are issued and sent to BÜGEM via TTSM.
Grant and Maintenance
Once the technical examination is completed, the testing agency send the technical examination report to Turkish Registration Committee and the grant decision is published in the Turkish Plant Variety Bulletin.
After the registration, the annuities should be paid till the end of January every year. Failing to do so will cause the property right for plant varieties to lapse. There is no grace period applicable, however re-establishment of the rights can be possible if the failure was due to a force majeure causation.
Given that the annuities are duly paid, the protection term is 25 years from the grant, for trees, vines and potatoes it is 30 years.