【News】Intellectual Property Strategy Headquarters to block unauthorized cultivation of Japanese agricultural crops in foreign countries (April 27, 2017)


The Japanese government decided on April 26 to strengthen its support measures to be taken for variety registration of Japanese agricultural crops in foreign countries.

The measures aim at protecting Japanese breeders’ rights of marketing seeds, plants and harvests of the crops concerned by registering the plant patents with overseas authorities in order to block unauthorized cultivation of those crops in foreign countries.

The government plans to revise its Intellectual Property Promotion Plan next month, in which the new support measures are to be put into practice.

A draft of the new Plan was proposed by the government at a meeting of its Intellectual Property Strategy Headquarters on April 26.

It will be one of the major challenges for the government to encourage intellectual property use and strengthen support for uses of the property that is an important backbone of export-oriented agricultural, forestry and fisheries industries, as well as food industry.

The Intellectual Property Strategy Headquarters wishes to substantially consolidate measures to be taken for promoting the intellectual property use in the agricultural industry.

The drafted Plan includes support measures to deal with infringement of the intellectual property such as unauthorized cultivation of crops in foreign countries, which have been registered by Japanese variety breeders with the overseas authorities.

Unauthorized cultivation of crops developed by Japanese breeders has increasingly been taking place in the international market. In China, for instance, production of “Shine Muscat,” a new variety of grape developed by the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization or NARO headquartered at Tsukuba city, Ibaraki prefecture, Japan, has been spreading, because NARO failed to register the grape patent with the Chinese authority.

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