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Plant Variety Rights Amendment Bill Consltation

Release of draft Plant Variety Rights Amendment Bill| for consultation

Associate Minister of Commerce Judith Tizard announced today the release of the draft Plant Variety Rights Amendment Bill for consultation.

"Today's release by the Ministry of Economic Development marks another stepping stone in the review of New Zealand's intellectual property legislation. The Bill updates New Zealand's plant variety rights legislation and brings it into line with other developed countries," Judith Tizard said.

"Consultation will help us check that the draft legislation accurately reflects the policy decisions government has taken. Patent attorneys and many in the plant breeding industry have a wealth of knowledge about the current law. We hope to draw on this knowledge to ensure that any unintended consequences of changes to the legislation are minimised."

The draft Bill is intended to amend the Plant Variety Rights Act 1987 and to enhance the rights of plant variety right owners in their protected varieties. Under the current Act, plant variety right owners have the exclusive right to produce and sell reproductive material of their protected varieties. The draft Bill proposes extending this to give plant variety rights owners broader rights such as stocking, importing and producing for export.

"The Bill reflects the government's commitment to facilitating economic growth through innovation," Judith Tizard said.

"The enhanced rights provided for in the draft Bill will provide greater incentives for developing new plant varieties while maintaining an appropriate balance between the interests of plant breeders and users of protected plant varieties."

Submissions on the draft Bill will close on 7 October 2005. Following the consultation process, the Bill is planned for introduction by late-2005.

Copies of the draft Bill can be downloaded from the Ministry of Economic Development website: http://www.med.govt.nz/buslt/int_prop/plantvarietyreview/draftbill/index.h tml or obtained from:

Warren Hassett
Regulatory and Competition Policy Branch
Ministry of Economic Development
P O Box 1473


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