New Variety Registration Application
What is the Seedling Law?
It is a law to protect the creation of new varieties of plants (flowers, agricultural products, etc.).
Breeders' Right Protection Period
Up to 25 years after variety registration (up to 30 years for trees such as fruit trees)
Measures to Protect Registered Varieties
•Injunction of distribution of seedlings and harvested products whose breeder's rights have been violated
•Claim for compensation for damages caused by infringement of breeders' rights (negligence of the opponent required)
[Criminal punishment (crime of infringement)]（intention of the opponent required）
•Individual: Imprisonment of 10 years or less, fine of 10 million yen or less (can be combined)
•Corporation: Fine of 300 million yen or less
The Seedling Law is similar to the Patent Law and Trademark Law because no rights are granted unless you apply and receive registration. Therefore, filing new varieties is the most important action for breeders to acquire legal protection.
The only varieties protected by the Seedling Law are newly developed and registered varieties, and other general varieties are not subject to any legal restrictions. General varieties refer to native varieties, varieties that have never been registered, and varieties whose registration period has expired.
In addition, distinction, uniformity, stability, non-transferability, and appropriateness of the name are defined as the registration requirements for new varieties. Therefore, it is necessary to judge whether the variety you want to register meets these requirements.
In addition, when filing an application, it is required to attach an instruction manual that describes the characteristics of the variety, a photograph of the plant, seeds or inoculum.
We perform all necessary processing for application, both domestically and internationally, such as checking requirements from a legal point of view and preparing application documents and attached materials so that the applied product can be registered smoothly without delay.
There are two types of examinations for registration: formal examinations and substantial examinations. Formal examination is an examination that is performed before publication to check whether or not the application documents are incomplete, and it does not take much time and effort. However, the problem is the substantial examination that takes place after publication. Substantial examination includes property (DUS), appropriateness of name, and non-transferability examination. Among them, the most difficult one is the property (DUS) examination. This is to examine whether the applied variety meets the following requirements among the registration requirements.
Cultivation tests and field surveys (or material surveys) will be conducted to examine these. Depending on the variety, the seedling management center may compare the characteristics with similar varieties, or the applicant's cultivation status may be investigated locally, which may take time and effort.
We will help you to make these examinations as smooth as possible and help you shorten the time to registration.
Even if you pass the examination, if the registration fee is not paid, your registration will be deleted. The registration fee must be paid annually for the duration of the right.
We will regularly check the necessity of maintaining rights so that payment will not be overlooked, and will support managing the appropriate deadline for payment of the registration fee.
Once the varieties are registered, the applicant is given the exclusive right of "breeders' right" for the registered varieties. As a result, the registered varieties can be used exclusively (production, sale of seedlings, etc.). Furthermore, as a property right, you will be able to transfer it to another party or give it a usage right and get a license fee.
We thoroughly check every corner of the contract with the other party, both domestically and internationally, to help you make effective use of your rights and prevent unexpected damage. In addition, even in the case of exporting registered varieties to foreign countries or importing varieties registered in foreign countries, we will strictly examine the situation from a legal point of view and provide support so that you will not suffer any disadvantages.
On the other hand, there are many cases where Japanese brand products such as cherry "Koushuho" in Yamagata prefecture and strawberry "Tochiotome" in Tochigi prefecture are cultivated overseas without any right entitled.
We will cooperate with the variety protection G-Men as necessary to promptly eliminate infringing products so that the hardships of our clients will not be wasted.