New Zealand plant protection : opportunities and pitfalls, implications for new variety development
The development of any new variety of plant, especially a fruiting one where the fruit has commercial potential, is often a long and costly exercise, and one not undertaken lightly. The opportunity to gain some form of protection to allow a plant breeder to recoup his costs and make a profit from his breeding investment would provide the necessary incentive to undertake such work. In fact it could be argued that it is fundamentally right and necessary that breeders are given this protection. The benefits that accrue not only to the breeder, but also to the wider community and the country of origin through successful commercialisation of a new variety, are such that they should be protected. This is even more relevant if the plant produces a unique fruit. Some form of protection for newly bred cultivars would provide the incentive and therefore encourage investment and effort into plant breeding in New Zealand. The fact that this need is already recognised and a Plant Variety Rights Act exists in New Zealand would therefore come as no surprise to most. But how aware are we of - • The effectiveness of that Act? • The pre-requisites it places on plant breeders? • The process and time frames which must be followed? • What existing fruits marketed in New Zealand are protected? Logic then says that we must be asking whether New Zealand breeders are being given the same degree of protectron as breeders from other countries. It would seem pertinent to draw comparisons with both Australia and America. We must then look at the issue of international protection. The opportunity -for commercial profit through the successful development of any new product is considerably enhanced if the protection given to it by New Zealand Law is carried over into the International marketplace.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordsplant protection; plant breeding; Plant Variety Rights Act; plant breeders; commercialisation
Fields of Research070602 Horticultural Crop Improvement (Selection and Breeding); 1801 Law; 150307 Innovation and Technology Management
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