Category Archives: Plant Variety Protection

Plant Variety Protection

Supreme Court Stays Delhi High Court Judgment Striking Down Sec. 24(5) of Plant Varieties Act


Last December, I had covered a judgment delivered by a Division Bench of the Delhi High Court striking down Section 24(5) of the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act (PPVFRA). This provision empowers the registrar of plant varieties to issue interim directions to prevent abusive conduct by third parties during the period between the filing of an application for the registration of a plant variety and the making of a final decision as regards the grant of registration….


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Patent Plant Variety Protection

NOC requirement for registering or releasing new plant varieties scrapped


As per a recent report in the Financial Express by Vivian Fernandes, the PPVFR Authority, constituted under the Protection of Plant Variety & Farmer’s Rights Act, 2001 has finally done away with a long-standing requirement of producing a ‘No-Objection-Certificate’ (NOC) from the patentee of a particular GM trait that is used by a breeder while developing a new plant variety and which variety he seeks to register under the PVPFRA. Since the interplay of these rights is slightly confusing, let…


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Patent Plant Variety Protection

Intervention by Addl. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta in Monsanto-Nuziveedu appeal raises questions of propriety


Vivian Fernandes of Smart Agriculture has brought to light a recent development in the ongoing litigation between Monsanto and Nuziveedu. As we reported earlier, Monsanto sued Nuziveedu for patent and trademark infringement before the Delhi High Court. A Single Judge of the high Court declined to grant an interim injunction and the matter was appealed to a Division Bench of the High Court. As per Fernandes, during the hearings, the Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta “wanted to make a voluminous…


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Patent Plant Variety Protection

The RSS involvement in the Monsanto-Nuziveedu dispute and a reticent Bloomberg-Quint editor


In a special investigative report published on March 28, 2017 Reuters revealed the role being played by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in the IP dispute between Monsanto and Nuziveedu. For readers not familiar with the RSS, it is the ideological parent of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Although the RSS claims that it is only a “cultural” body not involved in politics, there is little doubt that the BJP or the Prime Minister (who was a member of the…


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Patent Plant Variety Protection

Monsanto vs. Indian Seed Companies: Enforcement of Rejected Patent Claims?


We are pleased to bring to you a guest post by Mr. Essenese Obhan. Mr. Obhan is the Managing Partner of Obhan & Associates, a reputed IP law firm in Delhi. We had earlier published two guest posts by him here and here. Monsanto vs. Indian Seed Companies: Enforcement of Rejected Patent Claims? Essense Obhan As has already been reported on SpicyIP and the mainstream media, Monsanto and Indian seed companies are involved in a series of lawsuits against each other…


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Patent Plant Variety Protection

The Plant Variety Authority and Bt Cotton: A Case of Regulatory Capture?


We are happy to bring to you a guest post by Mr. Essenese Obhan. Mr. Obhan is the Managing Partner of Obhan & Associates, a reputed IP law firm in Delhi. He has both a law and an engineering degree, and has been consistently ranked by multiple international agencies as one of India’s leading patent attorneys. He has extensive expertise in the mechanical, industrial, software, telecoms and agriculture sectors. He is involved in drafting and prosecuting patents, as also in…


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Plant Variety Protection

In a Well Reasoned Judgment, Delhi High Court Strikes Down Section 24(5) of Plant Varieties Act


In a significant judgment delivered earlier this month, a Division Bench of the Delhi High Court struck down Section 24(5) of the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act (“PPVFRA”) on the ground that it gives uncanalized power to the Registrar of Plant Varieties to grant interim relief to a breeder whose application for the registration of a plant variety is under consideration. Authored by Justice Ravindra Bhat, the judgment stands out for the Court’s lucid articulation of the…


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Biological Diversity Geographical Indication Plant Variety Protection Traditional Knowledge

Rice & IP: The ongoing Basmati imbroglio, the ‘Green Rice’ mystery & the IR8 celebrations


Over the last year with the Monsanto-Nuziveedu dispute, India has witnessed one of its biggest IP disputes in the agricultural sector. The Basmati GI dispute also has huge implication but as I’m reminded, often, by several people, geographical indications (GI) do not qualify as IP. These disputes aside, we’ve also come across two other very interesting cases of green rice and IR8 celebrations. Basmati rice – When did geography become an issue? As we’ve written earlier on SpicyIP, there is…


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Patent Plant Variety Protection

NSAI Writes to American Ambassador; Calls for Stringent Action Against Monsanto


On this Blog, we have extensively covered the Bt cotton saga involving Monsanto and Indian seed companies [see here, here, here, here and here]. The Indian seed companies have been represented in this legal struggle principally by the National Seeds Association of India (NSAI) whose strategy, aimed at freeing the commercializing of Bt cotton from the shackles imposed by Monsanto, was explained by Prashant with remarkable lucidity here. To briefly recapitulate, the NSAI argues that, while no one can cavil…


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Overlaps in IP Patent Plant Variety Protection

The Seed(y) Saga: Who Makes Law in India?


Well, if Prabhakar Rao’s response to my op-ed in the Hindu is anything to go by, it would appear that is the executive (govt) that makes law in India. Never mind that the constitution says otherwise; and vests this power with our Parliament! Mr Rao clearly has his own constitutional handbook, drawing from which he notes: “As clarified by the government in the IPR Policy 2016, only the PPVFR Act, 2001 governs IP rights for transgenic varieties.” Firstly, whatever be…


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