The Plant Variety Protection Office
ARTICLE 14. The Plant Variety Protection Office. – There shall be established a Plant Variety Protection Office under the Department of Agriculture, which shall be headed by the Registrar.
ARTICLE 15. Functions of the PVP Office. – The PVP Office shall receive and conduct examination of applications for plant variety protection; receive petitions for compulsory license for transmittal to the Board; and maintain a systematic record of all Certificates of Plant Variety Protection, a database of existing plant varieties collected from both local and foreign sources, and samples of the propagating materials of the protected variety.
ARTICLE 16. Qualifications and Appointment of Staff . – The Registrar shall recommend to the Board the number and qualifications of the staff of the PVP Office.
Application for Certificate of Plant Variety Protection
ARTICLE 17. Who May Apply. – Any person who:
a) Bred, or discovered and developed, a new plant variety; or
b) Is the employer of the person in Article 17(a), unless he has waived his right to the plant variety protection in accordance with Article 20 hereof;
c) Commissioned the breeding, or discovery and development, of a new plant variety, if provided in a written agreement; or
d) The successors-in-interest of the foregoing persons as the case may be;
e) Any person who has obtained a plant variety protection for the variety being applied for in another country which by treaty, convention or law affords similar privileges to Filipino citizens may apply for a Certificate of Plant Variety Protection upon compliance with the requirements of the Act and these Rules. [Sec. 17 in reaction to Sec. 3(c)]
ARTICLE 18. First to File Rule. – If two (2) or more persons develop a new plant variety separately and independently of each other, the Certificate of Plant Variety Protection shall belong to the person who files the application first. In case two (2) or more persons file an application for the same plant variety, the right shall be granted to the person who has the earliest filing date or priority date. [Sec. 20]
ARTICLE 19. Joint Ownership. – If two (2) or more persons contribute to the development of a new plant variety, all of them shall be named in the Certificate of Plant Variety Protection and shall be entitled to such rights as agreed upon in writing or in the absence thereof, the rights in proportion to their contribution in the development of the plant variety. If there is no such written agreement and their respective contributions in the development of the plant variety cannot be established, the co-owners shall be deemed to have equal rights to the new plant variety. [Sec. 18]
ARTICLE 20. Employee-Employer Relationship. – In case an employee develops a plant variety in the course of his employment as a result of the performance of his regular duties, the plant variety protection shall belong to the employer, unless there is a written stipulation to the contrary. If the employee developed the plant variety outside of his regular duties, the plant variety protection shall belong to the employee. [Sec. 19]
ARTICLE 21. Commissioned Work. – The person who commissions the breeding, or discovery and development, of a new plant variety shall own the plant variety protection, if so provided in a written agreement.
ARTICLE 22. Priority Date. – Any application for a Certificate of Plant Variety Protection previously filed by a person in another country, which by treaty, convention or law affords similar privileges to Filipino citizens, shall be considered as filed locally as of the date of filing of the foreign application: Provided, that.
a) The local application expressly claims priority;
b) It is filed within twelve (12) months from the filing date of the earliest foreign application;
c) The applicant submits, within six (6) months from the filing of the local application, authenticated copies of documents which constitute the foreign application, samples or other evidence showing that the variety which is being applied for protection is the same variety which has been applied for protection in a foreign country. The documents shall be in the English language. [Sec. 21]
The applicant shall submit proof that the country in which the application for protection was first filed affords similar privileges to Filipino citizens, such as copies of the relevant laws, rules and regulations in said country, together with the English translation thereof, duly certified by the Philippine embassy or consulate.
ARTICLE 23. National Treatment. – Any application filed locally for a Certificate of Plant Variety Protection previously granted to a breeder in another country which by treaty, convention or law affords similar privileges to Filipino citizens, shall be issued a Certificate of Plant Variety Protection upon compliance with all the provisions of the Act and these Rules. [Sec. 23]
This shall also apply to the nationals of foreign countries that are members of intergovernmental organizations or party to any multilateral agreement or convention concerning the granting of intellectual property protection to plant varieties. A person shall be considered a national of a foreign country if he is a citizen of such country according to its laws, a natural person residing therein, or is a legal entity whose office is registered in such foreign country. [Secs. 22 & 23]
A country shall be considered to afford similar privileges to Filipino citizens if:
a) it imposes the same requirements upon, and provides the same terms of protection to, qualified Filipino breeders as it does its own citizens, and
b) it accords a priority date on any application of Filipino citizens for a Certificate of Plant Variety on the basis of the date of previous application in the Philippines.
ARTICLE 24. Filing of Application. – Applications shall be personally filed with the PVP Office during regular business hours or sent by registered mail with the required application fee. The filing date shall be the date of actual receipt by the PVP Office of the minimum application requirements specified in Article 25.
ARTICLE 25. Minimum Requirements for Application. – An application for Certificate of Plant Variety Protection shall consist of the following:
(a) One copy of the completed application form signed by, or on behalf, of the applicant, together with all the required exhibits;
(b) Official receipt to prove payment of the prescribed, non-refundable application fee. Application fee shall be paid in cash if filing is done personally; otherwise, it shall be paid in postal money order;
(c) Samples of propagating materials, which are the subject of the application.
a. In the case of seeds: (i) at least three thousand (3,000) untreated viable seeds or (ii) a certificate that sufficient samples have been deposited with an accredited gene bank.
b. For a tuber propagated variety and fruit, plantation and ornamental crops: (i) certification that a viable culture has been deposited with an accredited depository genebank; or (ii) a certification that a plot of vegetative material has been established in an accredited depository and will be maintained for the required period.
The PVP Office may, at any time after the filing of the application, require the applicant to submit additional propagating materials as may be required for purposes of substantive examination.
Applications and exhibits must be in the English language and typed or printed in standard size (A4) bond paper. Any erasures or alterations must be made in permanent ink before the application and initialed and dated by the applicant to confirm knowledge of such modifications.
ARTICLE 26. Contents of the Application Form. – The application form for a Certificate of Plant Variety Protection shall contain the following information:
a) Name of the applicant/breeder;
b) Contact details of the applicant/breeder in the Philippines, including address, telephone number, fax number, and electronic mail address;
c) Name of resident agent and address in the Philippines, if applicable;
d) The description of the variety and particulars of the variety bred, including particulars of its characteristics;
e) The variety denomination;
f) If the applicant is not the actual breeder, a statement of the basis of his right to file the application; and
g) As applicable, a statement expressly claiming priority under an application for a Certificate of Plant Variety Protection previously filed by the applicant in another country, which by treaty, convention or law affords similar privileges to Filipino citizens. [Sec. 24 and 25]
h) Statement of newness
The Registrar shall design and issue the Application Form.
ARTICLE 27. Exhibits. – The application must include the following exhibits:
a) Exhibit A – Detailed Origin and Breeding History of the Variety, including (i) the source of the germplasm and the results of other plant variety tests or trials that have already been done on the Variety. [Sec. 28]
b) Exhibit B – Statement of Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability;
c) Exhibit C – Statement of Ownership;
d) Exhibit D – Photographs, drawings or plant specimens and other additional information;
e) Such other exhibits as the Board may require from time to time.
ARTICLE 28. Other Information Required. – The applicant shall furnish such information regarding any application filed by him in other countries as may be required by the Board, including all pertinent documents relating thereto. If the applicant has successfully claimed priority in accordance with the Act and these Rules, he shall be given a period of two (2) years from the priority date to comply with such other information requirements.
ARTICLE 29. Number of an Application. – The applications shall be dated and numbered in the order received at the PVP Office.
ARTICLE 30. Formal Examination and Filing Date. – The PVP Office shall examine the application and supporting documents for completeness within five (5) days from receipt thereof. If the application is complete and sufficient, it shall be given a filing date corresponding to the date the application was received at the PVP Office. For purposes of according a filing date, the applicant must complete the relevant requirements listed in Articles 26 and 27. Within ten (10) days from receipt by the PVP Office of the application, the applicant shall be notified in writing of either (i) the allowance of the application and effective filing date; or (ii) the deficiencies in the application and the decision of the PVP Office not to give it due course.
ARTICLE 31. Time to Complete Deficiency in Application. – The applicant shall have thirty (30) days from date of the notice of deficiencies to correct or complete his application. Within this period, the applicant may request for an extension of the submission deadline for another thirty (30) days upon payment of the prescribed fee.
ARTICLE 32. Abandonment of an Application. – If the applicant fails to complete the application within the time given by the Registrar, the application shall be considered as abandoned.
ARTICLE 33. Voluntary Withdrawal of an Application. – An application may be voluntarily withdrawn by submitting to the PVP Office a duly signed written request for withdrawal.
ARTICLE 34. Publication of the Application. – After the Board, through the PVP Office, has accorded a filing date, the application shall be published within sixty (60) days, at the expense of the applicant, in the Plant Variety Gazette pursuant to Section 30 of the Act. The published application shall contain the application number and date of filing, name and address of the applicant, name of the variety or temporary denomination, and a description of the variety. [Sec. 30, para. 1]
Prior to such publication, the application and all related documents shall not be made available to the public without the written consent of the applicant. [Sec. 30, para. 2]
After publication of the application, any person may inspect the application documents: Provided, that a written request for inspection to the Registrar stating the purpose thereof. The inspection shall be conducted only during reasonable office hours and under the supervision of a PVP Office staff. [Sec. 30, para. 3]
ARTICLE 35. Opposition to the Grant of Plant Variety Protection. – Any person who believes that the applicant is not entitled to the grant of the Certificate of Plant Variety Protection may file an opposition thereto within sixty (60) days from the date of its publication in the Plant Variety Gazette and before the issuance of the Certificate of Plant Variety Protection. Opposition to the application may be made on the following grounds:
a) that the person opposing the application is entitled to the breeder’s right as against the applicant
b) that the variety is not registrable under the Act
If the opposition is based on the conditions of Plant Variety Protection, such opposition shall be considered together with the examination of the application. [Sec. 31]