Plant Breeder's Rights

Plant Breeder’s Rights

Plant breeders represent an innovative and important group within the agribusiness sector in Australia. The Plant Breeder’s Rights (PBR) scheme rewards breeders with a limited monopoly for new and distinctive plant varieties. Davies Collison Cave has substantial expertise in obtaining and enforcing PBR.  

PBR grants a breeder or a successor in title exclusive rights to produce and reproduce, sell, import and export the plant material of a protected variety, therefore providing the breeder with a competitive advantage in the market place. PBR is personal property which can be assigned, sold or transferred by other means to other parties.

PBR lasts for up to 25 years from the date of grant for trees and grapevines and for up to 20 years for other plant species (subject to payment of annual maintenance fees). If the breeder has not had a reasonable opportunity to exercise the rights, subject to various qualifications, the PBR can extend to harvested material and even to products obtained from the material.


Understanding the rights conferred by PBR is as important as obtaining the rights. At DCC, we advise breeders on all aspects of the procedures involved in obtaining the rights, and in their enforcement. 

DCC assists plant breeders to:

  • Identify Qualified People (QP) who oversee a comparative trial of the plant variety to be protected and ensure that DUS (Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability) requirements are satisfied
  • Advise on what varieties are eligible for PBR protection
  • Ensure the criteria for PBR are met including eligibility of the breeder, eligibility of the variety, suitability of the breeding methodology and preparation of documents
  • Advise on variety names
  • Oversee the application and granting process
  • Advise on commercial arrangements involving PBR
  • Assist in enforcing PBR rights. DCC has experienced practitioners who can assist all plant breeders in the horticultural and agricultural industries – from individuals to large commercial operations and organisations. DCC understands the strategic advantage of strong Intellectual Property (IP) rights in relation to plant variety innovation and research.