Jurisdiction - Singapore
Singapore – Plant Varieties Protection: Now Covers All Plants!

2 September, 2014


Legal News & Analysis – Asia Pacific – Singapore – Intellectual Property


Good news for plant breeders!

The Singapore Plant Varieties Protection Act (“PVPA“) has been extended – with effect from 30 July 2014 – to cover all plant genera and species.

The extension is a significant one from the previous position where only varieties of plants from 16 specific genera and species, and falling into 3 categories, namely, orchids, ornamental plants and vegetables, could be protected.

The amendment was made to comply with Singapore’s international obligations under the International Union on the Protection of New Varieties of Plant Convention (UPOV), to which Singapore is a signatory.

In order to be eligible for registration and protection, a plant variety would still have to meet the criteria of:

  • novelty (i.e., the plant variety has not been sold or disposed of, by or with the consent of the breeder, subject to grace period exceptions)
  • distinctness (i.e., the plant variety is clearly distinguishable from any commonly-known variety at the time of filing),
  • uniformity (i.e., the plant variety is sufficiently uniform in its relevant characteristics, subject to the variation that may be expected from the particular features of its propagation), and
  • stability (i.e., the relevant characteristics of the plant variety remain unchanged after repeated propagation or, in the case of a particular cycle of propagation, at the end of each cycle)

Additionally, the plant variety must be given a denomination (i.e., a distinguishing name or identification). Once registered, the breeder will have exclusive rights in relation to the protected plant variety including to produce or reproduce, sell, import and export the same.

Another change introduced by the amended PVPA is that it allows the Registrar of Plant Varieties to engage the services of examining authorities of other countries, including other UPOV Convention countries, to perform relevant examination. Currently, examination is carried out solely by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA).


ATMD Bird & Bird


For further information, please contact:


Pin-Ping Oh, ATMD Bird & Bird

[email protected]


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