Plant Breeders’ Rights

KISCH IP specialises in plant breeders rights in South Africa for registration, prosecution and litigation and has conducted more than 45 litigious cases in the past ten years, in South Africa and internationally. We focus on related litigation matters surrounding the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act, the Plant Improvement Act, the Genetically Modified Organisms Act and the Agricultural Pests Act.

Expertise & Knowledge

KISCH IP attends to regulatory requirements in the making of a plant breeders’ rights application, its registration and maintenance, and advice to various sectors of agriculture on proper management of plant breeders’ rights.

We conduct due diligences and intellectual property audits to identify and value intellectual property relating to plant breeders’ rights, and we advise clients on the proper management of these rights – as well as risk management and contractual requirements.


• South African and foreign plant breeders’ rights applications and prosecution, including test trial & importation procedures
• South African and foreign plant variety listing applications
• Plant breeders’ rights enforcement and related litigation
• Local and foreign plant breeders’ rights searches
• Plant breeders’ rights infringement searches and opinions
• Valuations and intellectual property scanning
• Licensing of plant breeders’ rights
• Local and foreign renewals
• Plant breeders’ rights commercialisation
• Expert opinions on plant-related claims (crop failures)

Advice & opinions

KISCH IP provides expert advice and opinions on:

• Indigenous and traditional knowledge systems
• Intellectual property issues relating to genetically modified plants
• Plant breeders’ rights management policies and strategies.

KISCH IP provides specialist advice on legislation, including:

• The Plant Breeder’s Rights Act, 15 of 1976
• The Plant Improvement Act, 53 of 1976
• The Genetically Modified Organisms Act, 15 of 1997
• The National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (NEMBA) 10 of 2004

Biodiversity & genetic modification

The Plant Breeders’ Rights Act, the Plant Improvement Act, the Genetically Modified Organisms Act, the Agricultural Pests Act, and the Biodiversity Act regulate various aspects surrounding the importation, propagation, stocking, denomination and sale of plant and propagating material. KISCH IP specialises in and advises clients on all of these matters.

The National Environmental Management Act (NEMBA) provides for the management and conservation of South Africa’s biodiversity, the protection of species and ecosystems warranting protection, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the bio-prospecting of genetic material.

KISCH IP advises on the legal aspects of dealing with genetically modified organisms and on agreements relating to inventions. We also advise on plant breeders’ rights that affect indigenous rights obtained from traditional knowledge, indigenous biological resources by bio-prospecting, and related matters.

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