Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers' Rights Authority

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Overview:

The Delhi High Court recently upheld an order by the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPVFRA), revoking the intellectual property protection granted to PepsiCo India Holdings Pvt. Ltd with respect to a potato variety developed by it.

About Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers' Rights Authority:

 

  • It is a Statutory body created by an act of Parliament.
  • It works under the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
  • Formation:
  • In order to provide for the establishment of an effective system for the protection of plant varieties, the rights of farmers and plant breeders and to encourage the development of new varieties of plants, the Govt. of India enacted “The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers' Rights (PPV&FR) Act, 2001” adopting sui generis system. 
  • The legislation recognizes the contributions of both commercial plant breeders and farmers in plant breeding activity and also provides to implement TRIPs in a way that supports the specific socio-economic interests of all the stakeholders including private, public sectors and research institutions, as well as resource-constrained farmers.
  • To implement the provisions of the Act, the Govt. established the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers' Rights Authority on 11 November, 2005.
  • Structure:
    • The Chairperson is the Chief Executive of the Authority.
    • Besides the Chairperson, the Authority has 15 members, as notified by the Government of India (GOI).
    • Eight of them are ex-officio members representing various Departments/ Ministries, three from SAUs and the State Governments, one representative each for farmers, tribal organization, seed industry and women organization associated with agricultural activities are nominated by the Central Government.
    • The Registrar General is the ex-officio Member Secretary of the Authority.
  • General Functions of the Authority:
    • Registration of new plant varieties, essentially derived varieties (EDV), extant varieties;
    • Developing DUS (Distinctiveness, Uniformity and Stability) test guidelines for new plant species;
    • Developing characterization and documentation of varieties registered;
    • Compulsory cataloging facilities for all variety of plants;
    • Documentation, indexing and cataloguing of farmers' varieties;
    • Recognizing and rewarding farmers, community of farmers, particularly tribal and rural community engaged in conservation and improvement;
    • Preservation of plant genetic resources of economic plants and their wild relatives;
    • Maintenance of the National Register of Plant Varieties and
    • Maintenance of National Gene Bank.

 


Q1) What is TRIPS?

The WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is the most comprehensive multilateral agreement on intellectual property (IP). It plays a central role in facilitating trade in knowledge and creativity, in resolving trade disputes over IP, and in assuring WTO members the latitude to achieve their domestic policy objectives. It frames the IP system in terms of innovation, technology transfer and public welfare. The Agreement is a legal recognition of the significance of links between IP and trade and the need for a balanced IP system.

Source: Delhi HC rejects PepsiCo’s appeal over potato patent: What the case is