Cancellation and Nullity of Plant Variety Protection
SECTION 61. Grounds for Nullity. – The Certificate of Plant Variety Protection shall be declared void ab initio on any of the following grounds:
a) The grant of the Certificate of Plant Variety Protection was essentially based upon information and documents furnished by the applicant, wherein the conditions of distinctness, uniformity, stability, and newness were not complied with at the time of the grant of the certificate; or
b) The Certificate of Plant Variety Protection was granted to a person who is not entitled to it, unless it is transferred to the person who is so entitled. The effect of the declaration of nullity is that as if the Certificate of Plant Variety Protection was not issued.
SECTION 62. Grounds for Cancellation. – The Plant Variety Protection shall be cancelled on any of the following grounds:
a) The breeder does not provide the required information, documents, or materials necessary for verifying the maintenance of the variety; or
b) The breeder fails to pay the required fees to keep his or her rights in force or provides false information in his or her application; or
c) The breeder does not propose, within the time/period provided under the regulations, another suitable denomination if the denomination of the variety is cancelled after the grant of the Certificate of Plant Variety Protection; or
d) The conditions of uniformity and stability could not be maintained although these were present at the time of the issuance of the Certificate of Plant Variety Protection; or
e) The breeder entitled to the Certificate of Plant Variety Protection or the holder has relinquished his/her rights through a declaration in a public instrument filed with the registrar.
SECTION 63. Venue. – Any petition to cancel a Certificate of Plant Variety Protection shall originally be under the jurisdiction of the Board. Decisions of the Board may be appealable with the Court of Appeals within fifteen (15) days from the date of notice of the Board’s final decision.
SECTION 64. Prescription. – The right to cancel a Certificate of Plant Variety Protection shall be instituted at any time within the term of protection of such right.
SECTION 65. Publication. – A notice of the filing of a petition to cancel a Certificate of Plant Variety Protection and the final order/decision on the same shall be published in the Plant Variety Gazette at the expense of the petitioner.
SECTION 66. National Plant Variety Protection Board. – There is hereby created a National Plant Variety Protection Board which shall be composed of the following or their duly designated representatives:
a) The Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, as chairman;
b) The Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology, as co-chairman;
c) The Director-General of the Intellectual Property Office, as vice chairman;
d) The Director of the Bureau of Plant Industry;
e) The Director of the Institute of Plant Breeding of the University of the Philippines Los Baños;
f) The President of the Philippine Seed Industry Association;
g) A representative from a federation of small farmers’ organizations to be nominated by the Secretary of Agriculture;
h) A representative from the scientific community to be nominated by the National Academy of Science and Technology; and
i) The Registrar (ex officio).
The members of the Board or their representatives must be Filipino citizens, have good moral character and should not have been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude.
The Board shall perform the following functions:
a) Promulgate policy guidelines for the effective implementation of the provisions of this Act;
b) Have original and exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all acts of the Registrar;
c) Have original jurisdiction over petitions for compulsory licensing, nullity and cancellation of the Certificates of Plant Variety Protection;
d) Institutionalize database of existing plant varieties, collected from foreign and local databases, within one (1) year from the effectivity of this Act;
e) Call on resource persons to provide inputs that will be relevant in the performance of the tasks of the Board;
f) Organize the Registrar as it sees fit;
g) Approve capital expenditure and contracts of experts; and
h) Perform all other functions as may be required in the implementation of this Act.
SECTION 67. Rules and Regulations. – For the purpose of the preceding section, the Board with representatives from the Senate and House Committees on Agriculture, shall within six (6) months from the effectivity of this Act, prescribe rules and regulations necessary for the implementation of its functions, or reorganize and create units therefor under its control and supervision.
SECTION 68. Fees. – The Board shall prescribe a schedule of fees to be charged against any applicant/breeder in the course of the application for a Certificate of Plant Variety Protection or in the maintenance therefor.
SECTION 69. Coordination and Cooperation with Other Institutions. – For the purpose of verifying certain facts such as but not limited to the requirements of stability, distinctness and uniformity, the Board may enter into agreements with other governmental or non-governmental institutions both domestic and foreign under a set of conditions germane to its functions.
Further, the Board shall also designate appropriate state colleges and universities, bona fide research institutions, or appropriate non-governmental research centers as testing centers for the distinctness, uniformity and stability of varieties.
SECTION 70. The PVP Fund. – There is hereby created a PVP Fund, hereinafter referred to as the Fund, to be administered by the Board. All fees, fines and charges collected by the Board under this Act, shall be deposited in the Fund. The Board is hereby authorized to use and disburse the Fund without need of approval by any government agency, and subject only to existing accounting and auditing rules and regulations for purposes of defraying the cost of operations in the delivery of its services to the public.
SECTION 71. Gene Trust Fund. – There shall be an independent and separate trust fund established under this Act, to be administered by the Board, for the benefit of bona fide organizations or institutions managing and operating an accredited gene bank. An amount to be determined by the Board but not to exceed twenty percent (20%) of the fees and charges, shall be used for the purposes of the gene trust fund. The trust fund may also accept donations from national and international institutions and other organizations and individuals interested in strengthening genetic conservation.
SECTION 72. Farming Communities and Bona fide Farmers’ Organizations. – Farming communities and bona fide farmers’ organizations are encouraged to build an inventory of locally-bred varieties as an option to protect these resources from misappropriation and unfair monopolization.
SECTION 73. Publication. – The Board shall maintain its own publication which shall be known as the Plant Variety Gazette for all the publication requirements of this Act and for other purposes which the Board may require. Copies shall be distributed to all concerned especially to the Members of the Senate and House Committees on Agriculture: Provided, that the Board shall distribute for free, and in the major dialect understood by the locality, copies of the Plant Variety Gazette to small farmer-groups and indigenous communities.
SECTION 74. The Registrar. – There is hereby established a National Plant Variety Protection Registrar and an Associate Registrar under the control and supervision of the Board. The Registrar and the Associate Registrar shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines upon the recommendation of the Board and shall have a term of six (6) years. However, the Registrar who shall be first appointed shall serve for a term of seven (7) years.
The Registrar shall be a citizen of the Philippines with good moral character, proven track record in the field of plant science, and/or extensive executive experience and capability.
Functions of the Registrar. The Registrar shall have the following functions:
a) Has original and exclusive jurisdiction to receive, process, examine all applications for Certificates of Plant Variety Protection in accordance with this Act, and in meritorious cases, issue the said certificates and sign them in the name of the Board;
b) Issue and maintain a systematic record of all Certificates of Plant Variety Protection and transactions related thereto;
c) Implement the rules and regulations issued by the Board;
d) Institutionalize, maintain and continuously update a database of existing plant varieties collected from foreign and local databases;
e) Maintain a library of scientific and other works and periodicals, both foreign and local, to aid his examiners in the discharge of their duties;
f) Maintain samples of the propagating materials of the protected variety; and
g) Perform such other functions as may be prescribed by the Board.
Miscellaneous and Final Provisions
SECTION 75. Relation with Other Laws. – The interpretation of the provisions of this Act shall not negate the effectivity and application of Republic Act No. 8371, otherwise known as the “Indigenous People’s Rights Act”; Republic Act No. 9147, otherwise known as the “Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act”; Presidential Decree No, 1151, otherwise known as the “Philippine Environmental Policy”; and Executive Order No. 430 and Administrative Order No. 8, Series of 2002 of the Department of Agriculture or the rules and regulations for the importation and release to the environment of plant products derived from the use of biotechnology.
SECTION 76. Transitory Provisions. – The National Seed Industry Council, which was created by Republic Act No. 7308 or the National Seed Industry Development Act, shall perform the functions of the Board until the latter has been fully organized, but not later than three (3) years from the effectivity of this Act. Within the same period, the Director of the Bureau of Plant Industry shall be the Acting Registrar and the Assistant Director of the same Bureau shall act as the Associate Registrar.
SECTION 77. Appropriations. – The Secretary of the Department of Agriculture shall immediately include in its program and issue such rules and regulations to implement the provisions of this Act, the funding of which shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act.
SECTION 78. Separability Clause. – If, for any reason, any provision of this Act is declared invalid or unconstitutional, the other parts not affected thereby shall continue to be in full force and effect.
SECTION 79. Repealing Clause. – All laws, decrees, executive orders, and rules and regulations, or parts thereof that are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.
SECTION 80. Effectivity. – This Act shall take effect thirty (30) days after its complete publication in a newspaper of general circulation.