Plant breeders’ rights (PBR), also known as plant variety rights (PVR), are rights granted to the breeder of a new variety of plant that give the breeder exclusive control over the propagating material (including seed, cuttings, divisions, tissue culture) and harvested material (cut flowers, fruit, foliage) of a new variety for a number of years.
With these rights, the breeder can choose to become the exclusive marketer of the variety, or to license the variety to others. In order to qualify for these exclusive rights, a variety must be new, distinct, uniform and stable. A variety is:
- new if it has not been commercialized for more than one year in the country of protection;
- distinct if it differs from all other known varieties by one or more important botanical characteristics, such as height, maturity, color, etc.;
- uniform if the plant characteristics are consistent from plant to plant within the variety;
- stable if the plant characteristics are genetically fixed and therefore remain the same from generation to generation, or after a cycle of reproduction in the case of hybrid varieties.