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Cross-Strait Plant Variety Protection Cooperation March Toward A New Milestone
Date ： 2015-07-07
Recently, the Cross-Strait agricultural trade exchanges make a breakthrough through direct flight, economic and trade openness. Due to the short Cross-Strait distance, similar language and culture, Taiwan and Mainland China are close on agricultural exchange. Rapid circulation among plant varieties results in that Taiwan’s superior varieties are theft and multiplied without permission in Mainland China which violate Taiwan’s plant breeders rights seriously. Therefore, the Cross-Strait plant variety intellectual property right has become a critical issue.
Since plant variety rights are adapted to territorial principle, if a superior variety of Taiwan wants to be protected completely in Mainland China, the applicant have to follow the native legal regime of Mainland China. However, the plant variety systems of both sides cross strait are very different, in order to protect plant variety rights of Taiwan in Chinese mainland, Taiwan needs to exchange opinion and harmonize plant variety protection system with Mainland China. Because both sides laid stress on intellectual property rights, the ‘Cross-Strait Agreement on Intellectual Property Right Protection and Cooperation’ was signed through 5th Chiang-Chen talks on 29th June, 2010 and became effective on 12th September in the same year. According to the agreement, both sides agreed to strengthen exchanged and cooperated in the patent, trademark, copyright and plant variety rights protection base on the principle of equality and mutual benefit and also agreed to consult and solve related problems, opening up a new era of cooperation in the Cross-Strait plant variety protection. Based on “Cross-Strait Agreement On Intellectual Property Right Protection and Cooperation”, both sides held the first working team meeting in Yilan on 21th September, 2010, and agreed to accept applications of plant variety rights under publicly announced plant species respectively. Through cooperation principle, plant variety rights working team was set up for both sides to consult with each other.
Through efforts of the Cross-Strait plant variety right working team meetings from 2011 to 2015, both sides established contact windows to deal with doubtful problems about the plant variety rights. And Mainland China has protected some plant species according to Taiwan’s request priority (e.g., Phalaenopsis Bl., Litchi chinensis Sonn., Mangifera indica L., Citrus L., Ziziphus Mill., Telosma Cov. and Taxus ) and put them on plant variety protection lists of Mainland China. Until 2014, the applications of plant variety rights in Mainland China from Taiwan are 37 cases in total, including 33 cases for phalaenopsis, 1 case for mango, 2 cases for citrus, 1 case for taxus. Because the working team of both sides is deeply concerned about this matter and make great efforts on it, the substantial examinations of part of applications are expected to be completed and they will then get plant variety rights in Mainland China. This is not only a quite great and substantial achievement but also a new milestone of the Cross-Strait plant variety protection cooperation.
Fig 1.Members of the fourth Cross-Strait plant variety rights working team meeting in 2015.
Fig 2.The official website of Plant Variety Protection Office, Ministry of Agriculture of the People’s Republic of China.
Contact:Chih-Hao An,Taiwan Seed Improvement and Propagation Station,COA