China launches new “seed law”


Image: Pixabay

The world's largest buyer of agricultural commodities has just published a new “Seed Law”, which will come into force on March 1, 2022. The Chinese Congress published at the end of 2021 an amendment with changes that reinforce the protection of seed rights intellectual property. Check out the main aspects of the new legislation, according to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture):

1) Expands the scope of protection throughout the production chain to the right to new plant varieties, extends the scope of protection from authorized variety propagation materials to harvested materials. Expands protections and enforcement from production, reproduction, and sales to now include all aspects of the marketing channel from production, reproduction, processing to reproduction, contracts, sales, imports, exports, and storage for implementing the above actions.

2) Improves the EDV (Essentially Derived Varieties) system, establishing a benefit-sharing mechanism between the owner of the original variety and the owner of the derived varieties, further stimulating original innovation in genetic improvement. The law requires the State Council to stipulate the relevant implementation steps and methods in relation to an EDV system.

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3) Improves the compensation system for infringement of new plant variety rights, increases the standard of compensation and increases protection for the owner of variety rights.

The draft version of the amended Seed Law was complemented with public consultation input. Compared to the draft for commentary version, this final version includes the following updates:

1) Strengthens scientific and technological research in the seed industry and the protection of germplasm resources (articles 9, 11 and 91);

2) Further strengthens the protection of the legal rights and interests of the owners of new plant varieties. The final version adds a clause that “the owner of the new plant variety right may license the new plant variety right to third parties and charge the license fee in accordance with the contract; the license fee may be charged at a fixed price, a commission from promotion revenue, etc.” (Article 28);

3) Increases penalties for the production and exploitation of false and inferior quality seeds. (Articles 72, 74 and 75).

By: Leonardo Gottems | agrolink

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