New Plant Varieties
– Law on Protection of Plant Breeders’ Rights, passed on May 29, 2009, published in the Official Gazette “Sluzbeni glasnik RS” No. 41/2009 of June 2, 2009, in force since June 10, 2009, as amended on November 22, 2011, with effect from December 2, 2011.
Membership in International Conventions
– International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), since January 5, 2013.
Applicant: individuals or legal entities.
Foreigners and nationals not living in the country: must have a local attorney.
Conditions for protection: variety must be new, distinct, uniform and stable, and the requirements for denomination of variety must be fulfilled.
Novelty: the variety is new if on the date of filing the application it has not been sold or otherwise disposed of to others by or with the consent of the owner for longer than one year in Serbia and four years in another country (six years for trees and vines).
Priority: may be claimed based on an application filed in another UPOV member country within the preceding twelve months.
Territory covered: Serbia.
Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. Proposal for the denomination of variety;
2. Information for completing the Technical Questionnaire (same as CPVO Questionnaire);
3. Priority certificate, if any;
4. Power of attorney, not legalized.
Formal examination: examination as to whether the application is complete and fulfills formal requirements.
Publication: after the formal examination has been completed, the application is published on the Internet of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management.
Substantial examination: the Ministry examines whether the variety fulfills the prescribed requirements or accepts the examination results of a qualified institution or the results obtained in another UPOV country.
Observations: third parties may object to the proposed denomination of variety within three months from the publication date. Observations with respect to novelty, distinctiveness, uniformity and/or stability are possible until the date of grant.
Registration: after having established that the variety fulfills the prescribed conditions, the Ministry renders the granting decision, enters the variety and the breeder into the Register of Protected Plant Varieties, and publishes the main data thereof in the Official Gazette.
Beginning of protection: from the date of grant.
Duration: twenty-five years from the date of grant, thirty years in case of potatoes, trees and vines.
Annuities: have to be paid for the period after grant to maintain the right in force.
Assignment: provided for; contract must be in a written form and registered to take effect vis-à-vis third parties.
Licenses: provided for; can be exclusive or not exclusive, contract must be in a written form and registered to take effect vis-à-vis third parties.
Modification of Protection after Registration
Compulsory license: can be imposed if the holder of the right, either by himself or through a third party, does not exercise or insufficiently exercises the right and refuses to grant a license to the interested person or imposes unjustified conditions on him, provided that compulsory license is in the public interest.
Expropriation: not provided for.
Nullification: a granting decision can be annulled if it is established that (a) the variety was not new or distinct at the time protection was granted; (b) the variety was not stable or uniform at the time protection was granted; (c) the right was granted to a person not entitled. The request can be filed with the Ministry during the whole duration of the plant variety right.
Cancellation: the Ministry can cancel the right if: (a) it is established that the variety is no longer uniform or stable; (b) the holder of the right fails to present the information, documents or material deemed necessary for verifying the maintenance of the variety; (c) the breeder fails to propose, where the denomination of the variety is cancelled after the grant of the right, another suitable denomination; (d) the holder fails to pay the annual renewal fee.
Infringement and penalties: the court can be requested to prohibit the activities which constitute infringement, to grant indemnification and to order the publication of the judgment at the expense of the infringer. The lawsuit has to be filed within a period of three years from the date the plaintiff learned about the infringement and the identity of the infringer, but not later than five years from the date of infringement. Fines may be imposed both on a company and company officials.