New Plant Varieties

– Plant Varieties Protection Act 2001, as amended up to Federal Law published in the Federal Law Gazette I No. 93/2015.

Membership in International Conventions

– International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), 1991 Act, since July 14, 1994.


Applicant: the breeder or his successor in title. Applicant must belong to the following groups of persons: citizen of a European Union (EU) country, natural or legal person resident in an EU-country or natural or legal person being resident in a country granting reciprocity. 

Foreigners: applicants not being of or resident in a EU-country must appoint an Austrian representative. 

Conditions for protection: certain specified species of plant may be protected; plant varieties must be distinguishable, homogeneous, stable and new.

Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. Unlegalized power of attorney;
2. Application form stating: (a) name and address of the applicant; (b) the species, the system of propagation; (c) name of application and plant variety respectively; (d) the group of persons to which the applicant belongs;
3. Specification of the features essential for distinguishability of the plant variety;
4. Proof of declaration relating to 2.(d) above.

Examination Procedure

Formal examination of the requirements of registration by the Office for Protection of Plant Varieties.

Publication: the application will be published in the “Sortenblatt” (Plant Varieties Gazette) based on the declarations of the applicant. 

Opposition: anyone can object to the application of the plant variety, (a) during the entire registration proceedings on the grounds that the plant variety does not comply with requirements; (b) within three months after publication of the name of the plant variety on the grounds that it is not admissible; (c) within three months after publication of the application on the grounds that the applicant is not entitled.

Examination: the Office for Protection of Plant Varieties has to examine, on the basis of its own cultivation tests or other appropriate investigations, whether the plant variety complies with requirements. Upon demand, the applicant must supply the Office for Protection of Plant Varieties with propagation material and hereditary components used for production of the plant variety for examination purposes.

Appeal: against decisions of the Office for Protection of Plant Varieties, appeal may be lodged with the Ministry of Agriculture.


Beginning of protection: date of registration in the Register of plant varieties protection. 

Duration: for vines, woody plants, hops: thirty years, and for the other species: twenty-five years calculated from grant of the plant varieties protection.

Annuities: the first annuity is due two months after grant; the next annuities are due on the anniversary day of grant; a suitable grace period will be granted.

Voluntary licenses: possible, recordable in the Register of plant varieties protection. 

Assignment: valid only after recording in the Register of plant varieties protection.

Marking obligation: distribution of propagation material of a plant variety is permitted only by using the registered name of the plant variety.

Modification of Protection after Registration

Withdrawing of plant varieties protection: on default of the owner of the protected plant variety to take sufficient measures for securing the continuance of the plant variety or by failing to pay the due annuity. 

Nullification: on request, the protection of a plant variety can be declared invalid by the nullification department of the Patent Office on the grounds that the plant variety is not distinguishable or not novel. 

Compulsory license: may be granted against reasonable compensation. The Nullity Department of the Patent Office decides in proceedings relating to granting of a compulsory license and nullification; see as for “patents“. 

Infringement: actions for infringement and temporary injunctions must be filed with the Commercial Court, Vienna, but in case of punishable infringements the respective District Criminal Courts are competent.