Thursday, 25 September 2008

Mexican plant breeders' rights: facts and figures

A useful article on plant breeders' rights in Mexico has recently been published, explaining the operation of the National Seed Inspection and Certification System (NSICS) which supervises the filing and grant of breeders' rights applications. Importantly for foreign applicants, it says that if the breeder has obtained the results of an examination by an authority abroad that formally collaborates with the NSCIS, such as the European Union's Community Plant Variety Office, the processing time for the corresponding Mexican application may be reduced if the applicant asks the NSCIS to take the examination results into account. If all necessary documentation is filed at the start, the process typically takes about one year.

The article also provides some data that shows the extent to which the Mexican protection system is used (as of September 2007):
"The NSICS's records show that 805 plant variety applications have been filed in Mexico, of which 37.6% were filed by US applicants and 33.5% by Mexican entities. Dutch, French and German applicants accounted for 11.9%, 8.4% and 3.5% of the applications, respectively. The NSICS has registered 184 applications for maize and 170 applications for roses - these high numbers are explained by the fact that maize originates in Mexico and by the country's wide range of climates for floriculture".
[source: "Plant Variety Protection System Continues to Bear Fruit", by Eric Alavez-Mejia (Becerril, Coca & Becerril SC, Mexico), writing in International Law Office].

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