Rwanda Publishes Modalities for Lodging Objections to Applications for Plant Breeder’s Rights
In a separate Article available here, we highlighted certain changes to Rwanda’s Intellectual Property Law and Procedure as published in the Rwanda official gazette of 20th April 2016. One of these changes was the promulgation of Law No. 005 of 2016 of 05/04/2016 Governing Seeds and Plant Varieties in Rwanda (the Law). The Law makes provision for the recognition and protection of seed and plant varieties in Rwanda and provides for plant variety evaluation, certification and registration, quality seed production, processing and marketing, importation and exportation of seed, and protection of new plant variety and plant breeder’s rights.
Pursuant to Article 37 of the Law, the Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources published the Ministerial No 015/11.30 Of 06/11/2017 Determining The Modalities For Lodging An Objection To The Application For Plant Breeder’s Rights in the Official Gazette No. 46 of 13th November, 2017. The Ministerial Order provides that any person who wishes to lodge an objection to the application for or the grant of a breeder’s right may only do so after the application, or the grant of a breeder’s right has been published. The objection must be made in the following manner:
- Submit to the Registrar of plant breeders’ rights pertinent reasons in writing for the objection to the application or the grant of breeders’ rights;
- Pay fees set by the Minister in charge of agriculture on advice of the Registrar of plant breeder’s rights.
- Lodge the objection within ninety (90) days from the date of the publication of the application or the grant for plant breeders’ right.
Once the objection is filed, the Registrar is required to acknowledge receipt thereof within fourteen (14) days. The Registrar is then required to consider the application which would result in either dropping or proceeding with the objection. If the objection is dropped, the Registrar will inform the applicant and provide reasons for the same. On the other hand, if the Registrar decides that the objection should proceed, the Registrar will notify the parties of that decision. The applicant or grantee of the plant breeder’s right will have an opportunity to submit evidence in support of the application or grant after which the Registrar will render his decision.
In deciding the matter, the Registrar may either uphold the objection or reject it. If the Registrar upholds the objection, he will recommend withdrawal of the application or nullification of the grant of plant breeder’s right, as the case may be. If, on the other hand, the objection is rejected, the Registrar will proceed with the application or award the grant of plant breeder’s right. In either case, the Registrar is required to inform the parties and the Minister of Agriculture of the decision within seven (7) days from the date of the acceptance or rejection.
The Registrar’s decision is not final. An aggrieved party may lodge an appeal with the Minister within fourteen (14) from the date of notification of the decision by the Registrar.
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Authors: Jane Mugambi