New Plant Varieties

– New Plant Varieties Protection Act, in force since January 2, 1999, last amended on June 28, 2006.

Membership in International Conventions

– International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), 1991 Act since July 29, 1999.

Filing

Applicant: the breeder or his successor in title. The applicant can be a natural or legal person resident in an EU country, a natural or legal person of the UPOV or a country granting reciprocity. Foreigners: non-EU residents shall appoint a Slovenian representative. Conditions for protection: the plant variety shall be new, distinct, uniform, stable, and denominated in compliance with the provisions of the Act. Novelty: the variety is deemed to be new if, at the date of filing of the application it has been sold or economically exploited with the consent of the person entitled in the Community, not earlier than one year before the filing date, and in a territory other that of the Community, not earlier than four years before the filing date or, in the case of trees or vines, not earlier than six years before the said date. Distinctiveness: the variety is deemed to be distinct if clearly distinguishable from any other variety, whose existence is a matter of common knowledge at the time of the filing of the application. In particular, the variety is deemed to be generally distinct if it has been granted protection or entered in an official Register of varieties in any country or in the Community by that date, if an application for variety protection or for entry into the Register of varieties has been filed in any country or in the Community, provided that the procedure leads to granting of protection of the variety or to the entering of the variety in the official Register of varieties, or if propagating material or harvested material of the variety has been marketed or used for profitable purposes by that date. Uniformity: the variety is deemed to be uniform if, subject to the variation that may be expected from the particular features of its propagation, it is sufficiently uniform in its relevant characteristics. Stability: the variety is deemed to be stable if its relevant characteristics remain unchanged after repeated propagation or, in the case of a particular cycle of propagation, at the end of each such cycle. A variety, which has been applied for a plant variety right in the Community or protected according to the scheme for plant variety rights in the Community, may not be subject to additional protection.

Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. Power of attorney (no legalization required);
2. Name and address of the applicant;
3. Particulars about the breeder unless he is the applicant himself;
4. Latin and Slovene name of the species to which the variety belongs;
5. A proposal of the denomination of the variety or temporary designation of the variety;
6. The State in which the application has already been filed, including the filing date in that State if priority right is claimed in the application;
7. A technical description of the variety, which can be enclosed in the application;
8. In the case of a genetically modified variety, an enclosure on previous approval for variety testing in accordance with the regulations on genetically modified organisms.

Examination Procedure

Formal examination of the requirements for registration is carried out by the Phytosanitary Administration of the Republic of Slovenia. Publication: three months after filing the application, an extract of the application is published in the Official Gazette. Opposition: any third party having legal interest may, during the procedure for grant of variety protection, lodge an objection with the competent body against applications published in the Official Gazette. The objection shall only refer to the fulfillment of the conditions on novelty, distinctiveness, uniformity, stability, denomination and entitlement for protection. Examination: based on the data provided in the application, a substantial examination of the application is carried out by the Phytosanitary Administration to verify whether the variety is new and whether the applicant is entitled to the grant of the variety right. The applicant shall submit to the competent body all necessary data, documents or propagating material required for the technical examination of the variety. The competent body also examines the suitability of the proposed denomination of the variety. Appeal against decisions of the Phytosanitary Administration may be lodged with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food within thirty days as of receipt.

Granting

Beginning of protection: date of the registration in the Register of Plant Varieties. Duration: twenty years as of grant of the plant variety protection, and twenty-five years following the year of grant of the variety protection for hops, vines and tree species. Annuities: are due at the beginning of the calendar year for the current year of the protection, that is, no later than January 31st; they are also payable within an additional time limit. Voluntary licenses: are possible; they have no effect against third parties if not recorded in the Register of Plant Varieties. Assignment: complete or partial assignment is possible. It is only effective against third parties upon the entry in the Register of Plant Varieties. Marking obligation: use of the denomination of the protected variety is obligatory. The propagating material of the protected variety can only be introduced to the market if the name of the protected variety is stated. This provision is obligatory even after the expiration of the variety protection.

Modification of Protection after Registration

Withdrawal of plant variety protection: upon request of the owner, on default of the owner of the protected plant variety to take sufficient measures for securing the plant variety, or by failing to pay the due annuity. Nullification: a breeder’s right is declared null and void if it is established that the application of variety is not new, distinct, uniform, stable, or where the breeder’s right has been granted to a person who is not entitled to it and where the entitled person has not filed a request for the reassignment of the variety right. Compulsory license: may be granted against reasonable compensation. Infringement: actions for infringement must be filed with the District Court of Ljubljana. An action has to be filed within three years as of the date on which the holder learnt about the infringement. No action is admissible upon the expiry of a five-year period.