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Nigeria’s plant variety protection: in line with international IP norms

In May 2021, the Plant Variety Protection Act 2021 was signed into law in Nigeria, and on August 27, 2021, the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) reaffirmed Nigeria’s conformity with the 1991 Act of the UPOV Convention, allowing Nigeria to become a UPOV member.

The Act establishes a Plant Variety Registry which is to be housed within the National Agriculture Seed Council (NASC). Regulations are currently being finalized to give effect to the Act.

Plant breeders who have already made sales or disposals of a variety in Nigeria are advised to monitor the developments closely, as the breeder of an existing variety of recent creation (where sale or disposal of a variety took place in Nigeria within four years before the filing date or, in the case of trees or of vines, within six years before the said date) may apply for plant breeders’ rights protection within 12 months of the date of commencement of the Act (i.e. by May 21 2022).

The big picture
The explanatory memorandum says that the objective is to “promote increased staple crop productivity for smallholder farmers in Nigeria and encourage investment in plant breeding and crop variety development”.

The Act provides for the protection of all plant genera and species.

Read the complete article at www.managingip.com.


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