New Plant Varieties
– Law on the Protection of Plant Varieties of November 22, 2001, in force since April 1, 2002, amended on October 19, 2006, September 21, 2010 and April 26, 2012.
Membership in International Conventions
– International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), 1991 Act, since December 10, 2003.
Filing Office: an application for the legal protection of plant variety shall be submitted to the State Plant Growing Service under the Ministry of Agriculture.
Novelty: the variety shall be regarded as new if at the date of filing of the application, propagating or plant material of the variety has not been sold or otherwise disposed of to others, by the initiative or with the consent of the breeder: (1) in the Republic of Lithuania earlier than one year before the above-mentioned date; (2) in the territory of another State earlier than four years or, in the case of trees, vines or of berry shrubs earlier than six years before the said date.
Priority: if prior to submitting the application to the State Plant Growing Service under the Ministry of Agriculture to register a new variety, an application has been submitted to register the same variety in one of the States members of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants or in a member State of the European Union, the priority date shall be accorded to the first application, as per request of the applicant. In this case, the application must be submitted to the State Plant Growing Service under the Ministry of Agriculture, no later than during a twelve-month period from submission of the first application, while a copy of it, authorized by the responsible institutions of the corresponding State (including a translation into the Lithuanian language), shall be submitted no later than within a three-month period from the submission of this application.
Examination: the State Plant Growing Service under the Ministry of Agriculture shall perform a preliminary examination of the application within one month. The preliminary examination shall determine the priority of the application, as well as verify whether the application complies with the requirements set by the Manager of the List of Protected Varieties. The State Plant Growing Service then conducts a substantive examination of the application (this examination shall verify whether the variety is new, whether the applicant is entitled to file this application and the variety denomination complies with the requirements laid down in Article 18 of the Law). Following the preliminary and substantive examinations of the application, a technical examination of the variety shall be carried out. It shall be verified through tests whether the variety complies with the conditions of distinctiveness, uniformity and stability.
Publication: the State Plant Growing Service under the Ministry of Agriculture shall publish in the official publication information relating to: (1) received, withdrawn and rejected applications; (2) variety denominations proposed in the applications; (3) varieties afforded protection under the breeder’s right, their breeders and/or authorized representatives of the breeders; (4) varieties afforded provisional protection; (5) change of the breeders and/or their authorized representatives; (6) decisions to declare a breeder’s right null and void, to cancel or to extend a breeder’s right; (7) other information specified by the State Plant Growing Service.
Objections: until the taking of decision either to grant the breeder’s right or to refuse granting the right, the interested persons may apply to the State Plant Growing Service with an appeal against the ineligible applicant as well as against the fact that the variety does not satisfy the conditions for the grant of the breeder’s right (i.e. variety does not satisfy the criteria of novelty, distinctiveness, uniformity and stability or has not been designated by a denomination). Appeals against the variety denomination may be filed within three months from the day of publication of the application. For deciding on appeals from the decisions of the State Plant Growing Service, also on appeals against inadequate performance of examination of applications and technical examination of varieties as well as for considering and deciding on other issues relating to legal protection of varieties, the Minister of Agriculture shall form the Board of Appeal composed of five persons and shall appoint the chairman of the Board.
Granting and Protection
Registration: the variety shall be registered upon establishing that it meets the requirements of novelty, distinctiveness, uniformity and stability and that it has been designated by a denomination in accordance with the provisions of the Law on the Protection of Plant Varieties.
Duration: the breeder’s right shall be granted for a period of twenty-five years, whereas for potatoes, trees, berry shrubs and vines the said period shall be thirty years.
Extension: the State Plant Growing Service may extend the duration of the protection term, however this is not to exceed a period of five years. A written request for the extension of duration of the breeder’s right shall be filed by the breeder or his authorized representative before the expiry thereof.
Beginning of protection: the term of its validity shall commence from the time it is recorded in the Register of Protected Varieties.