The MARA organized a meeting on strengthening the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) in the seed industry in early April,
2021.Attending the meeting were heads of governmental departments and experts from relevant institutes, representing the Supreme People’s Court, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the State Intellectual Property Office, provincial seed authorities, research institutions and seed industry enterprises.
It was noted at the meeting that IPR protection concerns high-quality and independent development with breakthrough in seed industry. The meeting called for enhancing IPR protection and modernization of seed industry, which would inject impetus into innovation in the industry.
The meeting emphasized that strengthening IPR protection is a matter of necessity and urgency. In-depth investigation should be conducted on critical issues and weak areas of seed industry. To address both symptoms and root causes, integrated measures should be implemented in the following aspects:
In terms of crop variety management, review and approval for main crop varieties should be tightened, and measures will be employed to supervise “green channel” approval procedure, regulate the registration of non-main crop varieties, and adopt dynamic management and withdraw mechanism for the registration of crop varieties.
In terms of market regulation, various activities should be launched as part of the program for seed industry supervision and law enforcement. This year, China will focus on cracking down on trademark infringement, production and sale of counterfeit and low-quality seeds, unlicensed breeding and sale of seeds, and illegal production and sale of genetically modified seeds. In conducting these activities, China will leverage molecular detection and other innovative techniques, and strengthen coordination among various sectors and different regions.
In terms of laws and regulations, judicial interpretations should be released as soon as possible on disputes over infringement upon the rights of new plant varieties. In addition, laws and regulations such as the Seed Law and the New Plant Variety Protection Act should be revised in due course to ensure that relevant laws concerning seed industry are put in place, observed, and enforced.