Plant variety rights (PVRs) are presently available for varieties of any kind of plant other than algae and bacteria. The word "variety" is used not in the sense of a "botanical variety", but rather as being synonymous with "cultivar" or "cultivated variety".
In the case of vegetatively propagated fruit, ornamental and vegetable varieties, Plant Variety Rights give you the additional exclusive commercial right to propagate the variety for the commercial production of fruit, flowers or other products of the variety.
By providing a tool to control commercialisation of a variety, Plant Variety Rights encourage investment and effort into plant breeding in New Zealand. You can find more details on the nature and volume of Plant Variety Rights applications in our 2016 [PDF, 233 KB], 2017 [PDF, 263 KB] and 2018 [PDF, 191 KB] infographics [PDF].
The rights scheme also allows New Zealanders access to overseas-bred varieties which would not be released here by their breeders without the protection of the legislation. As a result farmers, horticultural producers and home gardeners gain access to an increased number and range of improved varieties.
A grant of plant variety rights may be made if:
- it is new,
- it is distinct, sufficiently uniform and stable,
- it has an acceptable denomination, and
- formalities are met.