Purchasing foreign DUS test results in lieu of conducting comparative tests and trials in Canada

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The Plant Breeders' Rights Office (PBRO) has allowed the purchase of foreign test results under certain circumstances to demonstrate that a new variety is distinct, uniform and stable (DUS). For seed reproduced varieties requiring two growing cycles of trials, the applicant is able to replace one growing cycle by purchasing the foreign test results. The PBRO has recently expanded the existing policy, which allowed the purchase of foreign DUS test results only for asexually propagated, controlled greenhouse grown varieties, to include ALL varieties considered to be ornamental or horticultural (fruit and vegetable, excluding potato [Solanum species]) regardless of how they are propagated and where they are grown.

The following criteria must be met in order for the foreign DUS test results to be acceptable by the PBRO:

  1. The candidate variety must be a variety that is considered to be ornamental or horticultural (fruit and vegetable, excluding potato [Solanum species]);
  2. The candidate variety must have been applied for and been tested (or is being tested ) in a UPOV (International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants) member country. In cases where the testing of a variety has not yet been completed at the time a request to purchase the foreign DUS test results is processed, and, if at the end of the testing period the variety is found not to be DUS, the same decision will be taken by the Canadian PBRO. Thereafter, please be advised that the option to conduct additional trials in Canada will not be permitted;
  3. The plants within the trial, from which the foreign DUS test results are obtained, must have been grown and examined in a UPOV member country following official UPOV test guidelines and testing procedures;
  4. Canadian varieties of common knowledge should have also been considered as reference varieties in the trial from which the foreign DUS test results are obtained (if applicable). If there is a concern about the DUS of a variety, particularly in the case where a similar Canadian variety has not been considered as a reference variety, the applicant may be required to complete DUS comparative trials in Canada;
  5. There must be sufficient data and descriptive information available from the foreign DUS test results to publish the variety description in an acceptable format in the Plant Varieties Journal;
  6. A photograph demonstrating the distinguishing characteristic(s) of the variety must be submitted in an acceptable format for publication in the Plant Varieties Journal;
  7. Only official DUS test results obtained from the national PBR authority in a UPOV member country will be considered for purchase.

All requests to purchase foreign DUS test results must be made through the PBRO. The fees associated with the purchase, and subsequent translation, if required, are the responsibility of the applicant and/or agent. In addition, payment of the examination fee in Canada remains a requirement regardless of whether foreign DUS test results have been purchased. The description of the variety must still be published in the Plant Varieties Journal and be subjected to the six (6) month objection period.

The PBRO reserves the right to decide whether the foreign DUS test results are acceptable or not. If it is determined that they are not acceptable, DUS comparative trials in Canada may be required.

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