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Organization : Intellectual Property Office
Facility : Apply for Plant Variety Rights
Country : New Zealand
Website :

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IPONZ Apply for PVR

This page outlines how to apply for a grant of Plant Variety Rights for a new plant variety, so you can have the exclusive right to produce for sale and sell propagating material of the variety.

Related : IPONZ Apply for a GI Geographical Indication :

Who Can Apply

Only the owner of a new variety, or their authorised agent, can apply for Plant Variety Rights (PVR).


The owner can be :
** the breeder or discoverer and developer of the variety
** the breeder’s employer (for example, a company)
** a subsequent legal rights holder, known as a ‘successor-in-title’.

Any variety owner from anywhere in the world can submit an application. All applications must be in English, and indicate an address-for-service in New Zealand.

Authorised Agent

An application for Plant Variety Rights can be made by an authorised agent on behalf of the owner. The agent must provide the Commissioner with evidence of the necessary authority to act for the variety owner, in the form of a signed Authorisation of Agent Form.

If there is more than one owner, the agent must provide evidence of authority to act for each individual owner. An authorised agent may be licensed to manage the variety and act for the owner, but they are not the successor-in-title, and must not call themselves that in the application process.

Eligibility Criteria

Plant Variety Rights are presently available for varieties of any kind of plant other than algae and bacteria.

Following international custom in the world of plant variety protection, the word “variety” is used not in the sense of a “botanical variety”, but rather as being synonymous with “cultivar” or “cultivated variety”.

The Plant Variety Rights Act 1987 defines a variety as “…a cultivar, or cultivated variety, of a plant, and includes any clone, hybrid, stock, or line, of a plant; but does not include a botanical variety of a plant”.

A grant of PVR may be made for a variety (cultivar) if :
a) it is new
b) it is distinct, uniform and stable (commonly abbreviated to “DUS”)
c) an acceptable denomination (variety name) is proposed.

Before You Begin

Check first that you actually have a variety (cultivar). A single plant does not constitute a variety. There is no point in applying until you have successfully propagated a new variety and completed any required selection for uniformity and stability. See Criteria used to determine eligibility for Rights above.

To begin the application process for PVR you will need :
** Evidence of ownership (if the owner is other than the breeder).
** Completed Authorisation of agent form [555 KB PDF] (if applicable).
** A completed technical questionnaire applicable to the particular genus or species.

How to Apply

You may file your PVR application through any of the following methods :
Online application : Complete the online application form and pay the application fee. See our Online application section below for more details.
Paper form : If you wish to file your application using a paperform, these are available from the PVR Office on request.

UPOV : Complete your application form via the UPOV EAF, an online system maintained by the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV).

Filing your application via UPOV EAF will allow you to submit your application data to multiple IP offices, including IPONZ. UPOV EAF applications are limited to Apple Fruit varieties, Lettuce, Potato and Rose.

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