Amendment of Plant Varieties Protection Bill
Under the Plant Varieties Protection (PVP) Act, a plant breeder who discovers and develops a new plant variety may apply to protect his intellectual property (IP) of the new plant variety. If granted, the breeder will be given exclusive breeder rights in relation to the new plant variety.
On 30 July 2004, Singapore acceded to The International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) and currently offers PVP for 16 plant genera and species. Come July 2014, Singapore will need to expand the scope of this protection to all plants.
AVA AS EXAMINING AUTHORITY
The PVP is administered by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS). To facilitate PVP applications, AVA ascertains whether the candidate plant is indeed of a new variety, through a technical examination for distinction, uniformity, and stability (DUS). The DUS examination involves the detailed observation of plant parts and characteristics to distinguish the differences between the candidate variety and the common knowledge variety. A DUS examiner must be well versed in the basic knowledge on general plant morphology, as well as specific characteristics prescribed in the Test Guidelines.
A local research company has applied for PVP for two new candidate Jatropha curcas varieties. These varieties will undergo DUS examination by AVA. Jatropha curcas is an ornamental shrub that is a native of American tropics. Cultivation of Jatropha is mainly for the seeds, which can be processed to extract a high quality bio-fuel that can be used in any standard diesel machinery including cars.