Plant Variety Protection

PVP Level: What does it mean to producers?

Plant materials developed by Texas AgriLife Research breeders are considered as intellectual property and are owned and managed by Texas AgriLife Research, under System employees. The Plant Variety Protection Act (PVPA) provides legal intellectual property rights protection to developers of new varieties. Plant Variety Protection (PVP) allows owners of new varieties to maintain control over the purity and the marketing of the variety.

It is very important that you check the description of the variety for the level of protection.

1.  Variety not Protected by PVPA: No limit on how much seed a farmer can save and sell. Seed sold commercially must be sold by variety name.

2.  U. S. Protected Variety thru Certification (PVPA 1970 title V): to be sold by variety name only as a class of certified seed. A farmer may save enough seed to plant on his or her own farm holdings. If farm plans change, the farmer may sell the saved seed, but only the amount saved to plant his or her own holdings. No farmer saved seed can be sold unless certified by the Seed Certification Agency in the state where it is grown. (In Texas, that agency is the Texas Department of Agriculture.)

3.  U. S. Protected Variety (PVPA 1970 and no title V): A farmer may save enough seed to plant on his or her own farm holdings. If farm plans change, the farmer may sell the saved seed, but only the amount saved to plant his or her own holdings. All seed must be sold by variety name.

4.  U. S. Plant Variety Protection Applied for under the 1970 PVPA law and may be thru title V or not: Application for protection is pending, but same rules apply.

5.  U. S. Protected Variety (PVPA 94 and no title V): A farmer may save enough seed to plant on his or her own farm holdings. Saved seed may not be sold without permission from the variety owner.

6.  U. S. Protected Variety (PVPA 94 and title V): to be sold by Variety name only as a class of certified seed. A farmer may save enough seed to plant on his or her own farm holdings. No seed may be sold without permission from the variety owner. If permission is granted, seed must be sold as a class of certified seed.

7.  U. S. Plant Variety Protection Applied for PVPA 94: may be thru title V or not. Same rules apply.

8.  U. S. Plant Variety Protection (PVPA 94) is expected to be applied for: Until official notice is received, the variety has no protection. It is the grower’s responsibility to determine current status of the variety.

Under both the original PVP law and the 1994 PVP law, it is an infringement to CLEAN, BAG, or STORE farmer saved seed if the quantity exceeds what the farmer can legally save for planting purposes. The conditioner can be held liable for PVPA infringements.

If a variety is Patented or Contains a Patented Gene (Roundup Ready, best example) a farmer may not save any seed for planting purposes. A CUSTOM CLEANER-CONDITIONER MAY NOT CLEAN ANY SEED OF PATENT PROTECTED VARIETIES. To do so is an infringement of the patent.

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