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What is the Plant Variety Rights Act? Why does it matter?

Some plants are protected by intellectual property rights, so you can't propagate them to sell

By Trust and Safety 11 February 2021

A Plant Variety Right or PVR is a type of intellectual property right that protects new plant varieties.

They exist because developing new plants can be expensive and time consuming, so it makes sense that those who are working over-thyme get a bit of protection by New Zealand law.

The grant of a PVR gives the owner the exclusive right to produce for sale and sell propagating material of a new plant variety.

Trade Me actively works with PVR holders as a part of our intellectual property rights programme, to assist them in protecting their rights.

Because of this, we may contact you from time to time to check out that you’re not infringing on others’ rights.

So you’re a handy green fingered gardener, and you want to know how this affects you?

Don’t worry – you’re still allowed to grow and use those gerberas and daffodils in your own garden, as non-commercial use is totally ok. But here’s the catch, you can’t take material from a protected plant, and on-sell it to make money without the rights holder’s express consent.

If you sell a lot of plants, we recommend you make yourself familiar with the Act, and check whether your plants have the correct labelling. You can follow this guide to search the PVR register, to check what plants are covered.

For more information, don’t hear it through the grapevine. Get it straight from the source on the IPONZ website.


Trust and Safety
Trust and Safety