We use the term “clandestine seed” when farmers use the harvest of protected varieties to reproduce them for commercial purposes without paying royalties to the holder.
In addition to piracy of compact disc (CDs), there is another type of piracy which is less known and which involves using the material from protected varieties without the consent of the holder. This type of infringement is especially serious in the case of seeds, as there is a large amount of fraud occurring at this moment.
The law also regulates the so-called “farmers’ exemption” and defines it as follows: Small farmers are determined based on the following characteristics of the species which they produce: – When referring to fodder species, cereals, oil and fibre plants, farmers who grow plants in an area no greater than that necessary to produce 92 tonnes of cereals per harvest, irrespective of the area in which they grow other plants. – When referring to potatoes, farmers who grow plants in an area no greater than that necessary to produce 185 tonnes of potatoes per harvest, irrespective of the area in which they grow other plants. – When referring to horticultural species, farmers who grow on areas which meet the appropriate criteria comparable with those provided for in the above paragraphs. These farmers are authorised to use a protected variety which is not a hybrid on their farms and for their own use. Small farmers are not obliged to pay the holder. Others are obliged to pay, although this quantity will be lower than that charged for production under an operating licence.
The technical test includes all field and laboratory work, and its aim is to corroborate that the material of the variety is distinct, stable and uniform in comparison with other varieties from the reference collection. The aim of the tests is to: -Verify that the variety belongs to the described botanic taxon. -Determine that it is distinct, uniform and stable. -Establish an official description of the variety.
As a general rule for 25 years, and 30 years for wine and tree varieties.
Plant varieties are a type of Industrial Property (breeder right) aimed at protecting plant inventions by recognising the rights of breeders of new plant varieties.