The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers' Rights Act, 2001
15. Registrable varieties.-
1. A new variety shall be registered under this Act if it conforms to the criteria of novelty, distinctiveness, uniformity and stability.
2. Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), an extant variety shall be registered under this Act within a specified period if it conforms to such criteria of distinctiveness, uniformity and stability as shall be specified under the regulations.
3. For the purposes of sub-sections (1) and (2), as the case may be, a new variety shall be deemed to be-
a. novel, if, at the date of filing of the application for registration for protection, the propagating or harvested material of such variety has not been sold or otherwise disposed of by or with the consent of its breeder or his successor for the purposes of exploitation of such variety-
i. in India, earlier than one year; or
ii. outside India, in the case of trees or vines earlier than six years, or in any other case, earlier than four years, before the date of filing such application: Provided that a trial of a new variety which has not been sold or otherwise disposed of shall not affect the right to protection: Provided further that the fact that on the date of filing the application for registration, the propagating or harvested material of such variety has become a matter of common knowledge other than through the aforesaid manner shall not affect the criteria of novelty for such variety;
b. distinct, if it is clearly distinguishable by at least one essential characteristic from any other variety whose existence is a matter of common knowledge in any country at the time of filing of the application. Explanation.-For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that the filing of an application for the granting of a breeder's right to a new variety or for entering such variety in the official register of varieties in any convention country shall be seemed to render that variety a matter of common knowledge from the date of the application in case the application leads to the granting of the breeder's right or to the entry of such variety in such official register, as the case may be;
c. uniform, if subject to the variation that may be expected from the particular features of its propagation it is sufficiently uniform in its essential characteristics;
d. stable, if its essential characteristics remain unchanged after repeated propagation or, in the case of a particular cycle of propagation, at the end of each such cycle.
4. A new variety shall not be registered under this Act if the denomination given to such variety-
i. is not capable of identifying such variety; or
consists solely of figures; or
iii. is liable to mislead or to cause confusion concerning the characteristics, value identity of such variety, or the identity of breeder of such variety; or
iv. is not different from every denomination which designates a variety of the same botanical species or of a closely related species registered under this Act; or
v. is likely to deceive the public or cause confusion in the public regarding the identity of such variety; or
vi. is likely to hurt the religious sentiments respectively of any class or section of the citizens of India; or
vii. is prohibited for use as a name or emblem for any of the purposes mentioned in section 3 of the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950 (12 of 1950); or
viii. is comprised of solely or partly of geographical name: Provided that the Registrar may register a variety, the denomination of which comprises solely or partly of a geographical name, if he considers that the use of such denomination in respect of such variety is an honest use under the circumstances of the case.