New Plant Varieties

– Law No. 318 on the Protection of New Varieties of Plants of November 12, 1999.
– Regulations to the aforementioned Law, Decree No. 37-2000 of May 2, 2000.

Membership in International Conventions

– International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), 1978 Act, since September 6, 2001.

Filing and Protection

Applicant: the breeder or his legal successor.

Foreigners: natural or legal persons who do not have a domicile or headquarters in Nicaragua must be represented by an attorney-at-law.

Conditions required for protection: the conditions to be fulfilled by a plant variety in order to be eligible for protection are: novelty (it must be new); distinctiveness (it must be clearly distinguishable from existing varieties); uniformity (it must be sufficiently uniform in its relevant characteristics); and stability (its relevant characteristics must remain unchanged).

Novelty: a variety shall not be considered new if, on the filing date of the application, it has been offered for sale or disposed of to third parties within the following time periods: one year if sale or disposal was effected in Nicaragua; four years if sale or disposal was effected outside Nicaragua (except trees and vines); six years if sale or disposal was effected outside Nicaragua in the case of trees and vines.

Distinctiveness: a variety shall not be deemed distinct if, on the date of filing of the application, the variety is clearly distinguished by one or some pertinent characters from any other variety, notoriously known. These characters must be recognized by a technician in this matter and described with precision in the application.

Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident patent attorney):
An application for a “certificate of plant breeder’s rights” may be filed by any person interested in obtaining such a certificate with the Registry of Intellectual Property and shall contain at least the following information:
1. Name, surname(s), nationality and domicile of the applicant and his representative, where applicable;
2. Breeder’s name and surname(s), when not the same as those of the applicant;
3. Genus and species to which the variety belongs;
4. Proposed denomination for the variety or, where appropriate, a provisional designation;
5. Information about the origin of the variety (national or foreigner);
6. A technical description of the variety and of the procedure for obtaining or discovering and developing the variety and of its genealogy;
7. Where priority is claimed from an earlier application, the date of the earlier filing in the other country, the denomination under which the variety has been registered or, where unavailable, the provisional designation, and the country in which application for a plant breeder’s right has been made;
8. The voucher attesting to payment of the corresponding fees;
9. Sample of the variety.


Examination procedure – publication: the Registry of Intellectual Property will conduct a formal examination of all documents submitted with the application. There will be a term of thirty days in which to remedy any deficiencies that may be found. On successful conclusion of the formal examination, the Direction of seeds of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forest will conduct a technical examination to verify that the variety belongs to the botanical taxon described; to ensure that it fulfills the distinctiveness, uniformity, and stability requirements; and to draw up an official description of the variety. The results of technical examinations carried out in other countries with which Nicaragua has agreements in which respect plant breeder’s rights may be deemed admissible. On successful conclusion of this examination, the Direction will pass the file to the Registry and a notice of the application will be published in the Official Gazette. Published without opposition, the Qualifier Committee for Protection of Plant Varieties will meet to conduct the substantive examination. Upon successful conclusion of last examination, the Registry of Intellectual Property will issue a certificate of plant breeder’s rights, effective for twenty years from the registration date. Notice of grant will be published in the Official Gazette or in other newspapers.


Duration: certificates of plant breeder’s rights are granted for twenty years, from the date of granting. An applicant is entitled to monetary compensation from all parties who from the filing date to the date of grant have performed any act which, after grant, would require authorization from the breeder or his successor in title.

Scope of the plant breeder’s right: certificates of plant breeder’s rights allow the holder the exclusive right to the production or reproduction (multiplication), conditioning for the purpose of reproduction or multiplication, offering for sale, selling or other marketing, exporting, importing, or stocking for any of the aforementioned purposes, reproductive or propagating material of the protected variety. The said rights also extend to harvested material, including entire plants and parts of plants, as well as to varieties essentially derived from the protected variety, varieties not clearly distinguishable from the protected variety, and varieties whose production requires repeated use of the protected variety.

Exceptions to the rights: these exclusive rights are not applicable to the following cases: (a) for purposes of investigation to contribute to the genetic improvement of other vegetable varieties; (b) for farmers who use the products of the harvest for propagating purposes on their own holdings; (c) for use or sale of the harvest product for human or animal consumption. Certificates of plant breeder’s rights also confer the right to take legal action in the courts against infringement of those rights.

Denomination: the generic designation of the protected variety denomination is registered upon grant of the plant breeders’ right, without regard to any trademark that may later be used for marketing the variety in question. The said generic designation may not be liable to mislead or cause confusion with respect to the designations used for other varieties of the same or related plant species or with respect to the characteristics, value, or identity of the variety or the identity of the breeder. The generic designation must be different from every denomination which designates any other variety of the same plant species or related species in every member State of the UPOV or of intergovernmental organizations that are members of the UPOV.

Fees: an annual fee is required to maintain the plant breeder’s right in force.

Modification of Protection after Granting

Appeal: the grant of a certificate of plant breeder’s rights may be appealed to the Administration. Questions of ownership are the competence of the ordinary courts.

Licenses: breeders may grant licenses for exploitation rights to the varieties, which must be recorded in the Registry of Intellectual Property. The law also makes provision for compulsory licensing of exploitation rights in the event of unjustified failure to exploit the variety or of refusal to issue a license voluntarily in consideration of reasonable conditions. Provision is also made for non-exclusive compulsory licensing by reason of dependency in cases in which a breeder of a plant variety must use a patented invention to obtain or exploit his plant breeder’s right, and vice versa. Such licenses are also provided for in the case of biotechnology patents.

Nullification: certificates of plant breeder’s rights are null and void when the holder was not entitled to obtain the certificate or when the plant variety in question was not new, distinct, uniform, and stable. This action is the competence of the Registry of Intellectual Property.