A Brief History of Plant Variety Protection

As an agricultural country, Indonesia has great potential to increase its economic growth through agriculture. Recorded Since 2020, according to the Indonesian Central Bureau of Statistics, the agricultural sector has had favorable development each quarter.

The improvement efforts made by the government through the agricultural sector are to support plant breeders to create superior plant varieties. One form of support can be reflected in improving the quality of the law to provide optimal protection to plant breeders through the Plant Variety Protection Act (PVP Act).

 

The Beginning of International and National Development

Internationally, the history of PVP began in 1961. In that year, several countries approved the International Convention on PVP, namely the Union International pour la protection des obtentions végétales (UPOV).

Meanwhile, nationally, the regulation of PVP in Indonesia began in 1989. In that year, the regulation of PVP in Indonesia was contained in the Patent Law of 1989. Article 7, letter c, states that “patent protection cannot be granted to food, beverages, and plant varieties, especially for the commodities of rice, corn, cassava, and sweet potato.”

At that time, there was no specific law regulating PVP in Indonesia. During the enactment of the 1989 Patent Law, there was no patent protection for plant varieties.

Then, in 1994, Indonesia became a member of the WTO and ratified TRIPs (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights). Article 27 paragraph (3) letter b of TRIPs stipulates, “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.” Based on the provisions of TRIPs, all member countries are required to protect plant varieties through patent protection, an effective sui generis system (for example, through the granting of breeders’ rights), or by a combination of patent protection systems and sui generis systems.

Then, in 1997, the 1989 Patent Law was amended by revoking or deleting Article 7 letter c. So, in the 1997 Patent Law, food, beverages, and plant varieties can obtain protection through patents.

 

Specific Regulations on PVP

Although the 1997 Patent Law has authorized the granting of patent protection to plants, it cannot provide comprehensive protection to the aspects of new varieties.

Protection of plant varieties using patents cannot continue for the following reasons:

Patent holders will have the authority in principle to prohibit the reuse of seeds planted by farmers, with the consequence that there will be high costs for farmers, and the dominance of giant seed companies will be stronger.

Breeding based on the protection of plant varieties will be eliminated when patent protection does not support the types of inventions produced by traditional farmers that are not patented and used freely among the group of farmers.

The granting of patents is characterized by monopoly rights on seeds and plants that are the object of significant seed production and trade.

Patenting promotes higher standardization and reinforces the trend towards mono-cultivation, which will erode biodiversity.

 

Conclusion

Therefore, the Government of the Republic of Indonesia created a new law to protect plant varieties more thoroughly through a sui generis law, Law No. 29 Year 2000 on Plant Variety Protection (PVP).

The impact of a rule of law devoted to protecting PVP is the guarantee of aspects of plant breeders’ right to legal protection for their inventions (plant varieties). Hopefully, PVP can encourage and provide opportunities for the business world to increase its role in various aspects of agricultural development.

If you feel confident that Indonesia is the right place to register your PVP, then Am Badar & Am Badar IP Law Firm can be the right partner to assist you in navigating the intellectual property ecosystem in Indonesia. Contact us through ambadar@ambadar.co.id , and we will provide the best solution for your legal issues.

 

 

 

 

References:
Supancana I.B.R., Laporan Akhir Tim Pengkajian Hukum tentang Perlindungan Varietas Tanaman Lokal dalam Hukum Nasional dan Internasional, Jakarta, 2011 hlm. 28

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