Smit & Van Wyk Patent, Trademark & Registered Designs

Plant Breeders’ Rights in South Africa

Intellectual Property Attorneys

Plant Breeders’ Rights in South Africa are governed by the Plant Breeders Rights Act No. 15 of 1976 and entail protection of new plant varieties bred by conventional or genetically modified means that don’t fall within Patent protection. For a plant variety to qualify for Protection it must be new, unique, stable and uniform. With new it means that the variety may not have been sold or exploited in the RSA for more than a year and in one of the International Convention member states six years in terms of vines or trees and for other varieties a maximum of four years before the priority filing date. With unique or distinct the variety must be easily identifiable from other varieties of the same kind of plant of which people commonly know. Stability is another requirement and refers to the fact that the variety must stay unchanged after each cycle of propagation. Uniformity refers to the requirement of having specific characteristics in common. The breeder of the variety must apply for Plant Breeders’ Rights and is the person who did the breeding or developed the variety. One who has discovered the variety can also be classified as the breeder. Only South Africa residents can apply for the plant breeding rights. The National Department of Agriculture does certain assessments to determine the novelty, uniformity, stability and distinctiveness of the variety. Due to the nature of plants and time it takes to grow to maturity one can understand that the application can take years to be completed. Specific supporting documents must accompany the application including the proof of right to apply, colored images of the variety, and a completed technical questionnaire for the variety of plant. View our range of services and contact us today to help you apply for Plant Breeders’ Rights in South Africa for a specific variety of plants.

Requirements forPlant Breeders’ Rights in South Africa

To be granted plant breeders’ 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 / Plant Breeders’ Rights in South Africa
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.