Most Read Contributor in South Africa, September 2016
Cabinet have, during their meeting of 10 December 2014 approved
the tabling in Parliament of the Plant Breeders' Rights
Amendment Bill and Plant Improvement Amendment Bill. In a media
statement, it was stated that the Plant Breeders' Rights
Amendment Bill is aimed at strengthening the protection of
intellectual property rights relevant to new varieties of plants,
contributing to economic growth and positively impacting South
Africa's competitiveness in the agricultural sector.
Key amendments include extending protection to
all plant genera and species; addressing matters
of infringement of plant breeders' rights through the
appropriate fines and penalties; defining the limits and the
beneficiaries in the application of farmer's privilege; and
empowering the Minister to establish a Plant Breeders' Rights
Advisory Committee to advise the Registrar on matters related to
plant variety protection.
The Plant Improvement Bill amendments include aligning the scope
and provisions of the Plant Improvement Act to the Constitution and
other related legislation in the agricultural sector. In addition,
the Bill includes provisions regulating the quality of plants and
seed. These amendments are significant in that the importance of
quality plant propagating material to support sustainable
production as well as participation in the global market by setting
quality standards for plants and seeds is recognised.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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