New Plant Varieties
– Plant Varieties Protection Act, effective from April 13, 1995, as amended on January 4, 2014, effective from July 12, 2014.
Membership in International Conventions
– International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), 1991 Act, as of January 5, 2003.
Applicant: the breeder or his successor in title.
Foreigners: applicants not being residents in Belarus can appoint a Belarusian representative.
Conditions for protection: there are listed certain species of plant varieties for which protection can be granted; plant varieties must be new, distinguishable, homogeneous and stable.
Novelty: the variety must not, or must not for longer than one year, have been offered for sale or marketed, with the agreement of the breeder, in the territory in which the law is valid, and must not have been offered for sale or marketed, with the agreement of the breeder, in the territory of any other state for longer than four years (six for woody plants and grapes).
Distinguishability: the variety must be distinguishable by at least one of its important characteristics from any other variety whose existence is commonly known at the time when protection is applied for. A variety is commonly known in particular if it has already been entered in a public register and patent or other certificate is granted.
Priority: may be claimed by an applicant if a first application was filed within twelve months in a state with which Belarus has bilateral or multilateral agreement in this field.
Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. Unlegalized power of attorney;
2. Standard office notice;
3. Standard office work sheet of a variety;
4. Payment document.
Formal examination of the requirements of registration by the Office.
Full examination: the special State Commission has to examine on the base of own cultivation tests or other appropriate investigations whether the plant variety complies with the requirements on it.
Appeal: against decisions of the Office, appeal may be lodged within three months.
Opposition: anyone can object to the application of the plant variety, during the whole registration proceedings, that the plant variety does not comply with the requirements.
The provisional protection will begin upon publishing an application.
Beginning of protection: date of registration in the Register of plant varieties protection.
Duration: twenty-five years from grant of the plant varieties protection.
Annuities: the first annuity is due two months after grant; the next annuities are due on the anniversary day of grant; a suitable grace period will be granted.
Voluntary licenses: possible; recordable in the Register of plant varieties protection.
Assignment: valid only after recording in the Register of plant varieties protection.
Modification of Protection after Registration
Withdrawing of plant varieties protection: on failure of the owner of the protected plant variety to take sufficient measures for securing the continuance of the plant variety or by failing to pay the due annuity.
Nullification: on request, the protection of a plant variety can be declared invalid by the nullification department of the Office on the basis that the plant variety is not distinguishable or not novel.
Compulsory license: may be granted for reasonable compensation.
Infringement: actions for infringement and temporary injunctions must be filed with the Supreme Patent Chamber Court.