Nigeria Plant Breeders’ Rights

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Nigeria Plant Breeders’ Rights does not currently have a intellectual property protection for plant varieties or plant breeders, but in 2019 Nigeria has taken the first steps to start the legacy of plant breeders and foundation seed producers. A new draft law known as the Plant Variety Protection Act is set to provide legal intellectual property rights to plant breeders who develop new and improved seeds for increased crop production. The draft law is currently being reviewed by the Federal Ministry of Justice for possible adoption. The Minister of Agriculture and Chairman of NASC Governing Board, Chief Audu Ogbeh, Nigeria has assured UPOV that they are keen on the domestication and adoption of legislation for Plant Variety Protection (PVP), Plant Breeder’s Rights (PBR) in Nigeria, as well as creating a platform for the sustainable production of early generation seeds for the seed industry.

UPOV – International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants

Report on activities during the first 9 months of 2019

3. The Council took a positive decision, on August 21, 2019, on the conformity of Nigeria Plant Breeders’ Rights called the “Plant Variety Protection Bill of Nigeria” (“Draft Law”) with the 1991 Act of UPOV Convention, which allows Nigeria once the Draft Law is adopted with no changes and the Law is in force, to deposit its instrument of accession to the 1991 Act.

19. By letter of April 29, 2019, government requested the examination of Nigeria Plant Breeders’ Rights or the “Plant Variety Protection Bill of Nigeria” for conformity with the 1991 Act of the UPOV Convention. In accordance with the procedure of examination of laws by correspondence, the Council decided to: (a) note the analysis of document C/Analysis/2019/1; (b) take a positive decision on the conformity of the “Plant Variety Protection Bill of Nigeria” with the 1991 Act of the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants, which allows Nigeria once the Draft Law is adopted with no changes and the Law is in force, to deposit its instrument of accession to the 1991 Act; and (c) authorize the Secretary-General to inform the Government of Nigeria of the above decision.

52. On March 14, at WIPO headquarters in Geneva, the Office made a presentation on “Protection of New Plant Varieties under the UPOV Convention (Law, Policy and Development)” at the WIPO-WTO Advanced Course on Intellectual Property for Government Officials. The course was attended by participants from the following countries: Argentina, Azerbaijan, Barbados, Brazil, Chile, China, Ecuador, Egypt, Guyana, India, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Nepal, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, Republic of Moldova, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, Viet Nam, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

TRIPS Agreement

As a founding member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Nigeria has a pending obligation under Article 27.3(b) of the Agreement on Trade‐Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) to protect plant varieties through a patent system, a sui generis system, or a combination of systems. 

Article 27 of the TRIPS Agreement
Patentable Subject Matter

1. Subject to the provisions of paragraphs 2 and 3, patents shall be available for any inventions, whether products or processes, in all fields of technology, provided that they are new, involve an inventive step and are capable of industrial application.5 Subject to paragraph 4 of Article 65, paragraph 8 of Article 70 and paragraph 3 of this Article, patents shall be available and patent rights enjoyable without discrimination as to the place of invention, the field of technology and whether products are imported or locally produced.

2. Members may exclude from patentability inventions, the prevention within their territory of the commercial exploitation of which is necessary to protect ordre public or morality, including to protect human, animal or plant life or health or to avoid serious prejudice to the environment, provided that such exclusion is not made merely because the exploitation is prohibited by their law.

3. Members may also exclude from patentability:
(a) diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical methods for the treatment of humans or animals;
(b) plants and animals other than micro-organisms, and essentially biological processes for the production of plants or animals other than non-biological and microbiological processes. However, Members shall provide for the protection of plant varieties either by patents or by an effective sui generis system or by any combination thereof. The provisions of this subparagraph shall be reviewed four years after the date of entry into force of the WTO Agreement.