Smit & Van Wyk Patent, Trademark & Registered Designs

Lockdown Notification: Plant Breeders’ Rights

Intellectual Property Attorneys

Delivery of application forms and seed

This serves to notify all clients that during Level 4 of the Lockdown,

  • Applications in terms of the Genetically Modified Act
  • Applications in terms of the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act
  • Seed submitted for Evaluations in terms of the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act and the Plant Improvement Act
  • Any other relevant documentation

may be delivered to our offices situated at Harvest House, 30 Hamilton Street between 8:30 and 11:30 as follows:

Office No. 167: on Mondays
Office No. 255: on Thursdays

Alternate arrangements may be made by contacting: for GMO Act applications for PBR Applications and seed.

Issued by Directorate: Genetic Resources on 20 May 2020

Intellectual Property rights for Plant Breeds

Plant breeders have intellectual property rights for new plant varieties. Breeders of new plant varieties are granted rights for protection against exploitation. If you breed a plant variety and would like to obtain financial reward for your efforts, you must register that variety with the Registrar for Plant Breeders. Once you have registered a plant variety, it becomes your intellectual property. Any individual breeder or breeding institution may apply for a plant breeder’s right. Foreign breeders can only apply through an agent residing in South Africa. A Plant variety is considered new if the propagating material (seed or cutting from a plant) of a variety has not been sold in South Africa for longer than 1 year and the propagating material of a variety of a tree or of a vine has not been commercialised in another for more than 6 years, or in the case of any other plant for more than 4 years. Plant breeders are only granted rights for kinds of plant that are declared in terms of the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act, 1976 (Act 15 of 1976). 

Requirements for Plant Breeds:

To be granted plant breed rights, plant varieties must be new, distinct, uniform, stable and have an acceptable denomination. A variety is considered:

  • NEW if the propagating material
    • of a variety has not been sold in South Africa for longer than one year.
    • of a variety of a tree or of a vine has not been commercialised in another country for more than six years, or in the case of any other plant for more than four years.
  • DISTINCT if it is clearly distinguishable from any other variety of the same species.
  • STABLE if the plants of the particular variety still look like the original plants after repeated cultivation.
  • UNIFORM if the plants of a variety look similar and are sufficiently uniform in relevant characteristics.
Home / Blog / Lockdown Notification: Plant Breeders’ Rights
Trademark Law - Trademark Attorneys - Brand Protection
Copyright Law - Copyright Attorneys - Content Copyright
Patent Law - Patent Attorneys - Product Patents
Design Law - Registered Designs - Patent Attorneys

More information regarding Intellectual Property:

Copyright Films
It is possible to copyright films in South Africa under the Copyright Act of 1978, because any cinematograph film or storage, fixation, and production such as signalling of data to produce the work fall under the protection. 

Nigeria Trademark Registration
Nigeria is a first to file country and trademark registration is mandatory to be granted rights over a mark.  Nigeria trademarks are valid for 7 years from the filing date and renewable for further periods of 14 years.

Mauritius Trademark Registration
Mauritius trademarks recognise the Nice Classification of goods and services, and allows for multi-class filing. Mauritius trademarks are valid for 10 years from the filing date and renewable for periods of 10 years each upon payment of the renewal fee.

Franchise Agreements
Franchising legal advice is specialised and differs from other areas of law, thus you need find yourself an attorney that specialises in this specific type of law. Franchise attorneys represent the franchisor, as well as the franchisee. 

Validation of European patents in Morocco
The system for validating European patents in Morocco introduced under the validation agreement between the European Patent Organisation and the government of the Kingdom of Morocco provides European patent applicants with a simple and cost-effective way…

PCT National Phase Patents in Africa
The PCT National Phase is the second of the two main phases of the PCT procedure. It follows the international phase and consists in the processing of the international application before each Office of (or acting for a Contracting State) that has been designated in the international application.