Plant variety rights

New plant varieties are protectable.  We can provide specialist assistance with all aspects of registering, monitoring and enforcing plant variety rights.

What is a plant variety right?


A plant variety right (PVR) protects a novel plant variety (a cultivar) for up to 20 years (non-woody plants) or 23 years (woody plants) from the date of grant. PVRs can be a valuable resource as the holder of a registered PVR has the exclusive right to:

  • produce for sale and sell reproductive material of the variety;
  • propagate the variety for the commercial production of fruit, flowers or other products from the variety; or
  • licence others to do either of the above.

Requirements for PVR registration


The plant variety must be:

  • new - it must not have been sold or offered for sale in New Zealand for more than one year before the application date or overseas for more than six years (woody plants) or 4 years (non-woody plants),
  • distinct - it must have at least one characteristic (for example novel fruit, leaf shape, new colour, distinct flower, improved disease resistance) that distinguishes it from all other varieties publicly known at the application date,
  • uniform - the variety characteristics must remain the same amongst a number of plants, and
  • stable - the characteristics must remain the same between generations of the plant.

What is required to file a PVR application?


A PVR application requires an application form, completed technical questionnaire, fee payment and in some instances colour photographs of the variety showing the main distinguishing features and/or supply of a seed sample. An acceptable denomination name for the variety must also be provided with the application

How we can help


Please contact us if you have any questions about PVRs or would like us to assist you with a PVR application.

Meet our experts

  • Tim Jackson
    Partner, Auckland

  • +64 9 359 7702
  • +64 21 677 122
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  • Dr Fiona Pringle
    Senior Associate, Wellington

  • +64 4 494 9621
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  • Dr Tim Stirrup
    Associate, Auckland

  • +64 9 966 9762
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