PVR Technical Focus Group

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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.


August 2017 TFG meeting


Met 23 August - key matters discussed included:

  • PVR Law reform progress - and noting key issues
    • UPOOV91
    • Definition of breeding
    • Harvested material
    • Compulsory licencing
    • Farmer saved seed
    • Infringement regime
    • Distinctiveness
  • Impact of potential TPP11 on above
  • PVR application, assessment and grant trends
  • Policy regarding availability of plant material for DUS testing
  • Barriers to the PVR process
  • Central test sites and options
  • Universal UPOV application tool development

August 2016 TFG meeting

The PVR Technical Focus Group meeting discussed MBIE's approach to PVR Law reform, issues associated with PVR trials and testing procedures, the use of overseas test reports, the duration of provisional protection and trends in application numbers in the sectors they come from. Ornamentals still account for the greater portion of applications and grants with fruit varieties a little way behind

MBIE hosted the annual PVR Focus Group meeting in August


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).