The United Republic of Tanzania deposited its instrument of accession to the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) on 22 October 2015.
The United Republic of Tanzania will become a member of the UPOV Convention on 22 November 2015.
By way of background, Plant Breeders’ Rights (PBRs), also known as plant variety protection, are intellectual property rights intended specifically to protect new varieties of plants. They offer legal protection to plant breeders for the investment made in breeding and developing new varieties of plants.
The objective of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) is to provide and promote an effective system of plant variety protection for plant breeders. UPOV aims to encourage the development of new varieties of plants for the benefit of society.
The United Republic of Tanzania is made up of mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar. However, no unified PBR law has been enacted for both territories. On 1 June 2013, the United Republic of Tanzania Plant Breeders’ Rights Act (2012) replaced the previous Tanzania Plant Breeders’ Rights Act (2002). However, the 2012 Plant Breeders’ Rights Act only covers mainland Tanzania.
Prior to 2 January 2015, no PBR protection was available in Zanzibar. This situation was altered by the enactment by the Zanzibar House of Representatives of a new Zanzibar Plant Breeders’ Rights Act (2014) and it is now possible to obtain PBR protection in Zanzibar.
Both the United Republic of Tanzania Plant Breeders’ Rights Act (2012) and the Zanzibar Plant Breeders’ Rights Act (2014) are compliant with the UPOV Convention of 1991.
It is interesting to note that 25 countries in Africa protect of Plant Breeders’ Rights and 22 of these countries are members of UPOV.
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