Australia considers burying plant breeders' committee
Australia | 10 September 2014

An Australian government body is reaching out to interested parties on changes to the Plant Breeder’s Rights Advisory Committee (PBRAC), following the release of its paper on breeders’ rights matters.

The PBRAC, which was established under the Plant Breeder’s Rights Act (PBR) 1994, provides the government with advice on matters concerning breeders’ rights.

The National Commission of Audit examined the efficiency and necessity of the committee, recommending it is consolidated, with the government believing that the PBRAC’s current statuary basis is “limiting flexibility”.

Australia’s PBR Act defines a plant breeder’s right to exclude others from using a registered variety for commercial activities and “misusing” that name.

According to IP Australia, proposed changes are aimed at reducing complexity, formalities and costs associated with the current process.

The government has proposed three options to the current system. The committee could be replaced by a consultative group, an advisory committee coordinated by IP Australia, or an ad-hoc, non-statutory “engagement” of expert panel specialists.

Interested parties can vote on their preferred option, with submissions accepted until 31 October.

Author: Tammy Facey

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