On 7 July 2021, the Supreme People’s Court Provisions on Several Issues Concerning the Application of Law to Cases Involving Plant Variety Rights Infringements (II) ("New Provisions") came into effect. The New Provisions provide further and clearer guidance on the application of law in infringement cases of plant variety rights (PVR), which will encourage more consistent rulings by the People's Court and grant stronger judicial protection to PVR holders in China.

Compared with the Supreme People’s Court Provisions on Several Issues Concerning the Application of Law to Plant Variety Rights Infringements, which were promulgated by the Supreme People's Court in 2007 and revised in 2020, the New Provisions provide more detailed and practical regulations that address some long-standing problems in the judicial practice related to PVR infringement cases. Significantly, the New Provisions provide for a broad interpretation of the scope of the right, clarifies that protection is not limited to propagation (but also growing), clarifies the definition of "propagating material", provides for contributory liability, raises the effectiveness and timeliness of judicial protection and enhances the convenience for breeders in enforcement.

The New Provisions will enable PVR holders to commercialise their new plant varieties in a more secured way and defeat infringers more effectively.

This is a welcomed development, while the industry eagerly awaits  the revision of the Regulation of the People's Republic of China on Protection of New Plant Variety.

Please refer to our client alert for details of the key rules under the New Provisions, with reference to the current law applicable to PVR in China.