General Standards Section 28

Section 28. Plant Variety Protection Act

The Plant Variety Protection Act (PVPA) was signed into law December 24, 1970 and amended in 1994. The CCIA certifies varieties of alfalfa, beans, cotton, grain, rice and others that are protected under the Federal Plant Variety Protection Act. The owner of a new and novel variety who obtains a Certificate of Protection under the PVPA has control over the use of that variety, somewhat like an inventor has control over their patented inventions. The term of plant variety protection expires 20 years after the Certificate of Protection is issued. The owner has the right to exclude others from selling, offering for sale, reproducing, importing, exporting or using the protected variety in the production of a hybrid or different variety during this time.

Two options for plant protection are available to the developer of a variety. The first option enables the developer and certificate holder to sell or authorize for sale either certified or uncertified seed of the variety. If the certificate holder chooses this option he must resort to civil action if their rights are infringed upon within the 20-year period. The second option for protecting a variety is the "certification only" option which utilizes provisions of Title V of the Federal Seed Act. A variety protected in this manner may be sold by variety name only as a class of certified seed. Sale of uncertified seed by variety name is in violation of both the certificate owner's rights and Federal and State seed laws. Violators of the Title V may be prosecuted by Federal or State governments.                   

A complete listing of all protected varieties is available online at "Plant Variety Protection Office".


Reviewed October 2022 Next Section