The Plant Varieties Protection (Amendment) Bill seeks to amend the Plant Varieties Protection Act (Chapter 232A of the 2006 Revised Edition). The most significant change proposed to the Act is the extension of the types of plants to which protection may be afforded under the Act.

The Plant Varieties Protection (Amendment) Bill has just been published in the Government Gazette. It was introduced in the current session of Singapore’s Parliament on the 17th day of February 2014.

Currently, protection under the Plant Varieties Protection Act is only available for plants in a defined list of 16 specified genera and species in three different groups: orchids, ornamental plants and vegetables.

Under the current Plant Varieties Protection Act, it is not possible to obtain protection for varieties of any plants falling outside this list.

The Plant Varieties Protection (Amendment) Bill proposes to extend the types of plants for which protection is available. Under Section 4 of the Act as amended, a plant variety right is obtainable for varieties of all plant genera and species.

This change represents a significant extension of the protection obtainable under plant variety legislation in Singapore and will be welcomed by plant breeders both in Singapore and internationally.

Other changes proposed in the Bill allow the Registrar of Plant Varieties to appoint any person, organisation or entity to be an Examiner for the purposes of the Act, and to delegate all or any of his powers or functions under the Act to any person. The proposed amended Act will also allow an Examiner appointed by the Registrar to perform the functions of a prescribed examination authority, as set out in the Act.

Please let us know if you have any questions on plant variety protection in Singapore or the changes proposed in the Plant Varieties Protection (Amendment) Bill.

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