Licensing procedure for propagation for private cultivation of registered variety bred by NARO (For farmers)

Last updated: July 13, 2022
Published: August 31, 2021
Japanese page:

On and after April 1, 2022, and subject to partial amendment of Plant Variety Protection and Seed Act, when a farmer legally obtains a propagating material through a propagating-material dealer or an organizer of producers etc. (hereinafter called "licensees") who produces and sells the propagating material of a registered variety based on a granted license, and the farmer plants the propagating material as a next propagating material on his/her own holding and uses a harvested material produced from the legally obtained propagating material, a set of these acts is called "propagation for private cultivation" and needs license from a breeder's-right holder (The propagation for private cultivation includes farmer's exploitation, as a propagating material, of a seed potato, a vine seedling or a scion obtained from mother plant or a seedling tree of the registered variety).
The licensing procedure for propagation for private cultivation of the registered variety (including variety under application for registration, hereinafter the same) bred solely by NARO is as follows. Please consult NARO when procedures may be different between a registered variety of which rights are jointly owned with others (jointly-owned variety) and a registered variety involved with patent rights owned by NARO.
Please note that this license relates to the propagation for private cultivation and does not relate to the transfer of the produced propagating material to others (regardless of whether it is for a fee or free of charge).

List of licensees relating to registered variety of NARO:  NARO website's page of vendor/distributor list of propagating material
List of registered varieties bred by NARO (to be updated as necessary):  Attached sheet [Varieties for which application have been filed and which have been registered].[Varieties for which breeder's rights have expired]

Applicable persons

This license is intended for individual farmers, corporations qualified to own cropland as defined in Article 2, Paragraph 3 of the Cropland Act, and those who lease cropland from these parties. We also encourage bulk licensing through organizers of producers, etc. Please consult NARO individually.

Procedure

Crop-specific procedures

1. Rice (including rice for use as animal feed and WCS), wheat, barley, soybean, sugarcane, common buckwheat, adlay, sesame, rapeseed, florist crops, herbage, corn etc.

The above registered varieties bred by NARO are encouraged to be renewed, but in the case of propagation for the purpose of producing crops for one's own farming business, a license will be granted free of charge, provided that the variety is properly managed and used in a manner that does not damage its characteristics. No formalities are required for granting the license, but you will be deemed to have agreed to the following "Compliance" terms at the time of your propagation for private cultivation.
Please note that this license relates to the propagation for private cultivation and does not relate to the transfer of the produced propagating material to others (regardless of whether it is for a fee or free of charge).
Although examples of private propagation seem fewer for F1 varieties※ and varieties of which private propagation had not been allowed in the past, please ask if circumstances are exceptional.
※F1 refers to the first filial generation or the first generation of hybrids, which are created by crossing (hybridizing) two related strains.

* Notes:
If there is a material breach in matters of regarding a granted license, NARO may terminate the license retroactively, and shall not be liable to compensate for any damage incurred by the termination of the license.
NARO shall not be liable for the characteristics of the propagating material and harvested material obtained from the propagation for private cultivation.
In cases where it is deemed inappropriate to propagate for private cultivation, such as when there is a high risk of disease spread, we may decide not to grant permission. In such cases, we will notify you in advance.

2. Sweet potato, strawberry, potato, tea

We will grant you, free of charge, a license to propagate the registered varieties of sweet potatoes, strawberry, potatoes, and tea bred by NARO for your own cultivation upon application. If you wish to apply for a license, please fill out the application form below. (Please read the following "Compliance" terms when applying.)
However, in the case of sweet potatoes, strawberry, and potatoes, no licensing procedures are required for propagation for private cultivation until one year after legitimately obtaining the propagating material.
The license period starts from the date of notification of granting a license and expires on a designated date (August 31 for strawberry and tea, and October 31 for sweet potato and potato) coming first after three years from the notification date. If you are going to continue the propagation after the expiration of the license period, please apply for a new license. The propagating materials of sweet potato, strawberry, and potato will need to be renewed at that time. Please note that the license period does not guarantee that the registered varieties maintain their characteristics. Please renew propagating materials sooner than the expiration of the license period if a characteristics-diminishing expression etc. like lowered resistance to disease is observed.
NARO is making a concerted effort to prevent the spread of foot rot disease of sweet potato. Please be careful to prevent the disease and NOT collect seed potatoes from a field where the disease occurs.
Please note that the license relates to the propagation for private cultivation and does not relate to the transfer of the produced propagating material to others (regardless of whether it is for a fee or free of charge).(License Page of the varieties)

*Notes:
If there is a material breach in matters of regarding a granted license, NARO may terminate the license retroactively, and shall not be liable to compensate for any damage incurred by the termination of the license. NARO shall not be liable for the characteristics of the propagating material and harvested material obtained from the propagation for private cultivation.
In cases where it is deemed inappropriate to propagate for private cultivation, such as when there is a high risk of disease spread, we may decide not to grant permission. In such cases, we will notify you in advance.

3.Fruit tree (grape, citrus, persimmon, Japanese pear, chestnut, apple, peach etc.)

A license of propagation for private cultivation of the registered varieties of grape, citrus, persimmon, Japanese pear, chestnut, apple, peach etc. bred by NARO will be granted for a fee. (Fruit trees are woody plants, and there is a risk that illegal harvested material will be produced stably for a long time once they are exported overseas. Currently crackdowns on illegal propagating materials are under way. In order to protect the brand value of the variety and to ensure that domestic producers can enjoy the maximum benefits of the varieties, as a part of the costs for the appropriate management of the breeder's rights, we have decided to charge a license fee based on the number of the plant pieces exploited for propagation, at the same level as the license fee charged for the purchase of the propagating materials in the past.)
If you wish to obtain a license, please apply using the application form below. Please read the following "Compliance" terms when applying.
After the approval of the license, we will send you a certificate for posting, so please post it at a representative garden.
The licensing fee is JPY 100 per scion (including tax) for individual farmers and JPY 50 per scion (including tax) for an organizer applying for the license. The application must be made in units of 100 scions, and propagation for private cultivation is possible within the licensed number of scions. (e.g., if an individual farmer wants to cultivate 70 scions, they need a license for 100 scions (JPY 10,000); if they want to cultivate 130 scions, they need a license for 200 scions (JPY 20,000).
The licensing period is between the date of the licensing agreement and March 31, 2023. You are required to apply for each year of propagation for private cultivation, and the license period is from the start date of the license agreement to the end of the fiscal year (March 31).
Please note that this license relates to the propagation for private cultivation and does not relate to the transfer of the produced propagating material to others (regardless of whether it is for a fee or free of charge).

*Notes:
If there is a material breach in matters of regarding a granted license, NARO may terminate the license retroactively, and shall not be liable to compensate for any damage incurred by the termination of the license. NARO shall not be liable for the characteristics of the propagating material and harvested material obtained from the propagation for private cultivation.
In cases where it is deemed inappropriate to propagate for private cultivation, such as when there is a high risk of disease spread, we may decide not to grant permission. In such cases, we will notify you in advance. The licensing fee and the unit of the number of licenses are subject to change based on future operations and other factors. In that case, we will notify you in advance.

【Compliance】

  • ① Harvested material or plant piece obtained by exploiting the propagating material of the registered variety must not be transferred as a propagating material to a third party whether it is for a fee or free of charge.
  • ② The propagating material of the registered variety should not be brought to overseas.
  • ③ An appropriate propagating material must be select and exploited not to diminish characteristics of the registered variety significantly in exploiting harvested material or plant piece as a propagating material. Any problem such as diminished characteristics in the registered variety by exploiting the propagating material must be reported to NARO without delay. Please ask NARO if care must be taken when propagating harvested materials, such as some F1 varieties, which are not suitable as a propagating material.
  • ④ The propagating material produced in accordance with the license but not have been used on their own holdings as propagating material shall be destroyed without delay or used for food. Pruned branch of fruit tree and tea shall surely be disposed of by incineration etc.
  • ⑤ The licensee must acknowledge and cooperate with NARO so that NARO may investigate documents and farm lands relevant to the license.
  • ⑥ The licensee must report to NARO without delay if a third party makes an offer to the licensee for transferring harvested material or plant piece obtained by exploiting the propagating material of the registered variety to or from the licensee.
  • ⑦ The licensee must follow instructions from NARO regarding other matters related to the license.
  • ⑧ A certificate for posting must be displayed at a publicly viewable location and at a height of 1 meter on the garden where a grafting is planted so that the display is not come off or peel off all too easily (as long as a fruit tree is concerned).
  • ⑨ The certificate for posting obtained in accordance with the license must not be transferred to a third party whether it is for a fee or free of charge (as long as a fruit tree is concerned).

【Termination of license】

NARO may terminate the license if:

  • ① An application involves any false statements.
  • ② A licensee materially breaches the matters of the license to be obeyed;
  • ③ If the licensee is a legal person and if its management rights are deemed to be transferred to a third party because of a merger with another person, a corporate alliance, or a significant change in the share of stockholders' assets; or
  • ④Any matter occurs other than but equivalent to the aforementioned events where the license can hardly be maintained.
Contact

Please send questions through the mailing form of NARO's website.
Please see frequently asked questions (FAQ) before asking with respect to the licensing procedure relating the propagation for private cultivation.
Frequently-asked questions (FAQs) with respect to the licensing procedure relating the propagation for private cultivation of the registered variety bred by NARO (English version)
*If you have questions about the amendment of Plant Variety Protection and Seed Act, please see the website of the amendment of Plant Variety Protection and Seed Act of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
Website of Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries" Re: amendment of Plant Variety Protection and Seed Act" (external link)
NARO email form
URL : https://prd.form.naro.go.jp/form/pub/naro01/hinshu
In charge: Breeder's Rights Management Section, intellectual property department, NARO

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