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China publishes newly amended seed law

On December 24, 2021, the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China published an amended Seed Law of the People's Republic of China. The new Seed Law will come into effect on March 1, 2022. The full text of the amended law can be found on the National People's Congress website. The amendments to the Seed Law strengthen provisions for the protection of intellectual property rights in the seed industry in the following aspects:
1) Expands the protection scope and protections through the production chain to the right to new plant varieties, extends the protection scope from the propagation materials of authorized varieties to harvested materials. And expands protections and enforcement from production, reproduction, and sales to now include every aspect of the marketing channel from production, reproduction, processing for reproduction, contracts, sales, imports, exports, and storage for the implementation of the above actions.
2) Improves the EDV system- establishes a benefit-sharing mechanism between the owner of the original variety and the owner of the derived variables, and further encourages original innovation of plant breeding. The Law requires that the State Council shall stipulate the relevant implementation steps and methods regarding an EDV system.
3) Improves the compensation system for infringement on new plant variety rights, increases the compensation standard, and increases the protection for the owner of the variety rights.
The draft version of the amended Seed Law was released for public comment on August 20, 2021. Please refer to GAIN CH2021-1000 for the translation of the full text of the draft for the comment version. Compared with the draft for comment version, this final version includes the following updates:
1) Strengthens the scientific and technological research of the seed industry and the protection of germplasm resources (Article 9, 11, and 91);
2) Further strengthens the protection of legal rights and interests of owners of new plant varieties. The final version adds one provision that “the owner of the new plant variety right can license the new plant variety right to others, and collect the license fee in accordance with the contract; the license fee can be collected at a fixed price, a commission from the promotion income, etc.” (Article 28)
3) Increases the penalties for the production and operation of fake and inferior seeds. (Article 72, 74, and 75)
The new Seed Law will come into effect on March 1, 2022. This report provides an unofficial translation of the amendment and a comparison with the current version.


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