Our extensive IP offering includes specialist skills in plant breeders’ rights and plant variety listings in South Africa and internationally for purposes of registration, prosecution and litigation. We have conducted numerous litigious cases in the past ten years, in South Africa and abroad.

We also focus on related litigation matters surrounding the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act, the Plant Improvement Act, the Genetically Modified Organisms Act and the Agricultural Pests Act.

Expertise & Knowledge

We attend to regulatory requirements in the making of plant breeders’ rights and plant variety listing applications, its registration and maintenance, and offer advice to various sectors of agriculture on proper management of plant breeders’ rights.

We conduct due diligences and intellectual property audits to identify and value intellectual property relating to plant breeders’ rights, and we advise clients on the proper management of these rights – as well as risk management and contractual requirements.
 

Services

  • South African and foreign plant breeders’ rights applications and prosecution, including test trial & importation procedures
  • South African and foreign plant variety listing applications
  • Plant breeders’ rights enforcement and related litigation
  • Local and foreign plant breeders’ rights searches
  • Plant breeders’ rights infringement searches and opinions
  • Valuations and intellectual property scanning
  • Licensing of plant breeders’ rights
  • Local and foreign renewals
  • Plant breeders’ rights commercialisation
  • Expert opinions on plant-related claims (crop failures)
    • Specialised plant material and seed sale licence and agreements resolving challenges faced by suppliers
    • PAIA applications to gain access to plant breeders’ rights files in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act
       

Advice & opinions

We provide expert advice and opinions on:

  • Indigenous and traditional knowledge systems
  • Intellectual property issues relating to genetically modified plants
  • Plant breeders’ rights management policies and strategies.

We also offer specialist advice on legislation, including:

  • The Plant Breeder’s Rights Act, 15 of 1976
  • The Plant Improvement Act, 53 of 1976
  • The Genetically Modified Organisms Act, 15 of 1997
  • The National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (NEMBA) 10 of 2004

Biodiversity & genetic modification

The Plant Breeders’ Rights Act, the Plant Improvement Act, the Genetically Modified Organisms Act, the Agricultural Pests Act, and the Biodiversity Act, regulate various aspects surrounding the importation, propagation, stocking, denomination and sale of plant and propagating material. We specialise in and advise clients on all of these matters.

The National Environmental Management Act (NEMBA) provides for the management and conservation of South Africa’s biodiversity, the protection of species and ecosystems warranting protection, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the bio-prospecting of genetic material.

We advise on the legal aspects of dealing with genetically modified organisms and on agreements relating to inventions. We also advise on plant breeders’ rights that affect indigenous rights obtained from traditional knowledge, indigenous biological resources by bio-prospecting, and related matters.