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Date [ 2014-03-27, 12:23 ]

First ASEAN state with enhanced Plant Varieties Protection regime.

Jatropha curcas - a potential bio-fuel

(Singapore = Koreanpress) Benjamin Kim = Thismonth, Senior Minister of State for Law, Indranee Rajah, announced in Parliament that Singapore will be expanding the scope of its Plant Varieties Protection Act to include all plant genera and species.

Plant breeders, importers and exporters of fruits and vegetables, and companies involved in the sale of plant and plant products can look forward to the comprehensive range of Plant Varieties Protection by July 2014. Examples of plant genera and species include Caixin(Vegetable), Dendrobium(Orchid) and Heliconia(Ornamentals).

Singapore,a member of the UPOV Convention since July 2004, is the only ASEAN country under the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) Convention to provide Plant Varieties Protection to all plant genera and species.

Plant Varieties Protection recognises breeders for their efforts in developing new and improved plant varieties. As the only ASEAN country to provide Plant Varieties Protection to all plant genera and species, the enhanced regime will help boost research and development opportunities for new plant varieties with economic potential in Singapore.

When protection is granted, breeders will be able to register for an exclusive right to commercially produce their variety, sell its propagating material, and prevent others from using it without permission.

Breeders will also be able to license the right to other parties and collect royalties. The expanded scope of Plant Varieties Protection has excited both local and foreign plant breeders.

In particular, local breeders have expressed strong interest to protect plant species that are potential sources of sustainable bio-fuel, such as Jatrophacurcas.

The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) and Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) will jointly conduct awareness and educational programmes to help breeders and businesses in the horticultural and agricultural sectors to identify opportunities for commercialisation.

In anticipation of the increased demand for technical examination due to the increased scope of Singapore's Plant Varieties Protection, the Bill amendments also seek to enable IPOS to engage the services of examining authorities outside of Singapore, in addition to AVA.

This outsourcing model is in line with current practices in other jurisdictions such as Switzerland, France, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom.

This move allows IPOS to tap on worldwide expertise for the Plant Varieties Protection examination process, and will help boost plant breeders' confidence in Singapore's enhanced Plant Varieties Protection regime.

Orchids, another money earner.

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