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Plant varieties and seeds in Argentina

One of the topics touched on in "Intellectual Property - Argentina: IP rights and new technologies", the most recent contribution to International Law Office by Carlos O Mitelman and Daniel R Zuccherino (Obligado & Cia), is that of plant breeders' rights. Regarding plant and seed varieties the authors outline the position in Argentina:

"Plant breeders' rights are recently acknowledged rights whose importance has developed concurrently with the biotechnological revolution and plant improvement techniques. They are rights related to innovations obtained in plant varieties (eg, new varieties with increased resistance to pests or weather, or with enhanced nutritional capacity).

Plant breeders' rights have similarities with patent law and also share the aim of encouraging new investment in research and development activities. However, despite these similarities, within the Argentine legal framework plant varieties are not patentable. Article 6(g) of the Patent Law (24,481) establishes that "all kinds of live material and pre-existing substances in nature" are not considered invention, thus excluding the possibility of patenting them. Furthermore, in many cases the obtaining of new plant varieties does not, strictly speaking, mean the creation of an invention, but rather the result of relatively gradual and mechanical stages or steps".
After explaining that plant varieties protection can be excluded from patent protection under TRIPS they add
" ... plant varieties can be protected under the Seeds Law (20,247) and the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) Agreement 1978 (Argentina has been a member of UPOV since 1994).

... The Seeds Law and Regulatory Decree 2183/91, which adapts the Seeds Law to the requirements of the UPOV Agreement and was approved in Argentina by Law 24,376, establish the protection of rights over plant varieties".
The full text of this article is available here.

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