Plant Variety Protection and Seed Act (Any data that the title of a law indicates to be a "Tentative translation" has not yet been proofread or corrected by a native English speaker or legal translation expert; this data may be revised in the future.Tentative translation)
Act No. 83 of May 29, 1998
Chapter I General Provisions
(Purpose)
Article 1 The purpose of this Act is to promote the breeding of plant varieties and the rational distribution of propagating material by providing for a system relating to the registration of plant varieties for the protection of new plant varieties and regulations relating to the indication of designated seeds, so as to contribute to the development of agriculture, forestry and fisheries.
(Definitions)
Article 2 (1) The term "agricultural, forestry and aquatic plants" as used in this Act means spermatophyte, pteridophyte, bryophyte, multicellular algae and other plants specified by the Cabinet Order, which are cultivated for the production of agricultural, forestry and aquatic products, and the term "plant" means an individual of agricultural, forestry and aquatic plants.
(2) The term "variety" as used in this Act means a plant grouping which can be distinguished from any other plant grouping by the expressions of at least one of the important characteristics (hereinafter referred to as the "expressions of the characteristics") and which can be propagated while maintaining all its expressions of the characteristics without change.
(3) The term "propagating material" as used in this Act means entire plants or parts of plants used for propagation.
(4) The term "processed products" as used in this Act means the products which are made directly from the harvested material obtained through the use of propagating material and are specified by the Cabinet Order.
(5) The term "exploitation" in relation to a variety as used in this Act means the following acts:
(i) production, conditioning, offering for transfer, transferring, exporting, importing or stocking for the purpose of any of these acts, of propagating material of the variety;
(ii) production, offering for transfer or lease, transferring, leasing, exporting, importing or stocking for the purpose of any of these acts, of the harvested material obtained through the use of propagating material of the variety (limited to cases where the holder of the breeder's right or the holder of the exclusive exploitation right has not had reasonable opportunity to exercise his/her right against the acts prescribed in the preceding item).
(iii) production, offering for transfer or lease, transferring, leasing, exporting, importing or stocking for the purpose of any of these acts, of the processed products of the variety (limited to cases where the holder of the breeder's right or the holder of the exclusive exploitation right has not had reasonable opportunity to exercise his/her right against the acts prescribed in the preceding two items).
(6) The term "designated seeds" as used in this Act means seeds (excluding that of trees provided for forestry), appearing in the form of seeds, spores, stems, roots, seedlings, saplings, scions, rootstocks, spawn or other parts of plants specified by the Cabinet Order, which are designated by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries as requiring certain matters to be labeled at the time of sale thereof in order to facilitate identification of their quality, and the term "seed dealer" as used in this Act means persons engaged in the sale of designated seeds in the course of business.
(7) The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, shall, after having heard the opinions of the Agricultural Materials Council, determine and publicly notify the important characteristics referred to in paragraph (2) of this Article for each of the classes, specified by the Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, of agricultural, forestry or aquatic plants.
Chapter II Variety Registration System
Section 1 Variety Registration and Application for Variety Registration
(Condition for Variety Registration)
Article 3 (1) Any person who has bred (meaning the fixation or determination of the expressions of the characteristics resulting from artificial or natural variation; the same shall apply hereinafter) a variety fully meeting the requirements set forth below or his/her successor in title (hereinafter referred to as "breeder") may obtain a registration for the variety (hereinafter referred to as "variety registration").
(i) the variety is clearly distinguishable, in all or parts of its expressions of the characteristics, from any other variety whose existence is a matter of common knowledge in Japan or in any foreign state at the time of the filing of the application for variety registration.
(ii) all of the plants of the variety at the same propagation stage are sufficiently similar in all of its expressions of the characteristics.
(iii) all of the expressions of the characteristics of the variety remain unchanged after repeated propagation.
(2) Where the filing of an application for variety registration or an equivalent application in a foreign state in relation to a variety has lead to the granting of the protection in relation to the breeding of the variety, the existence of the variety shall be deemed to have been a matter of common knowledge retroactively since the time of the filing of the application.
Article 4 (1) A variety may not be registered, if the denomination of the variety pertaining to the application for variety registration (hereinafter referred to as "applied variety") falls under any of the following items:
(i) where there is more than one denomination for the applied variety;
(ii) where the denomination is identical or similar to a registered trademark pertaining to the propagating material of the applied variety or a registered trademark pertaining to goods similar to the said propagating material;
(iii) where the denomination is identical or similar to a registered trademark pertaining to services relating to the propagating material of the applied variety or goods similar to the said propagating material;
(iv) where the denomination is likely to cause misidentification of the applied variety or confusion in respect of its identification (excluding the cases set forth in the preceding two items).
(2) A variety may not be registered when the propagating material or harvested material of the variety have been transferred in the course of business, in Japan earlier than one year before the date of application for variety registration, or in any foreign state earlier than four years before the said date (or earlier than six years in the case of varieties belonging to a genus or species of agricultural, forestry or aquatic plant specified by the Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries as a perennial plant). However, this shall not apply where such a transfer was made for the purpose of experiment or research, or where such a transfer was made against the will of the breeder.
(Application for Variety Registration)
Article 5 (1) A person intending to obtain a variety registration shall, pursuant to the provisions of the Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, submit to the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries an application stating the following matters:
(i) the name and the domicile or residence of the applicant;
(ii) the genus or species of the agricultural, forestry or aquatic plant to which the applied variety belongs;
(iii) the denomination of the applied variety;
(iv) the name and the domicile or residence of the person who has bred the applied variety; and
(v) matters prescribed by the Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in addition to what is listed in the preceding items.
(2) The application set forth in paragraph (1) of this Article shall be attached with a written explanation stating the matters specified by the Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, photographs of the plant of the applied variety, pursuant to the provisions of the Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
(3) Where two or more persons have bred a variety jointly, they shall file an application for variety registration pertaining to the variety jointly.
(Application Fee)
Article 6 (1) The applicant shall pay an application fee in an amount specified by the Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries but not exceeding 47,200 yen per application.
(2) The provision set forth in the preceding paragraph shall not apply where the applicant is the national government (including Incorporated administrative agencies provided by the Act on General Rules of Incorporated administrative agency (Act No.103 of 1999) Article 2 paragraph (1) which are specified by the Cabinet Order as dealing with activities relating to breeding of plant varieties; the same shall apply to the paragraph (3) of this Article, Article 45 paragraphs and (3), and Article 54 paragraph (2)).
(3) Notwithstanding the provision of paragraph (1) of this Article, where the national government and other person jointly file an application for variety registration and they have an agreement on the portion of their respective shares of the breeder's right to be granted upon variety registration, the amount of the application fee set forth in paragraph (1) of this Article shall be the amount calculated by multiplying the amount of the application fee specified by the Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries pursuant to paragraph (1) of this Article by the percentage of the share of such other person, which shall be paid by such other person.
(4) Where there is a fraction less than 10 yen in the amount of the application fee as calculated pursuant to the provision of paragraph (3) of this Article, such a fraction shall be discarded.
(Transfer of the Title of Applicant)
Article 7 (1) The title of applicant may be transferred.
(2) Any transfer of the title of applicant shall not come into effect without a notification to the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries pursuant to the provisions of the Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, except in the case of inheritance or other general succession.
(3) Where the title of applicant has been transferred as a result of inheritance or other general succession, the successor in title shall notify, without delay, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries accordingly, pursuant to the provisions of the Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
(Employee-bred Variety Bred as part of his/her Duties)
Article 8 (1) With respect to a variety bred by an employee, an executive officer of a juridical person, or a national or local governmental officer (hereinafter referred to as "employee etc."), any contractual provision, service regulation or any other stipulation providing in advance that the employer, juridical person, or national or local government (hereinafter referred to as "employer etc.") shall file an application for variety registration, or have the title of applicant transferred, or have, if the employee etc. obtain a variety registration, the breeder's right transferred or an exclusive exploitation right granted shall be null and void. However, this shall not apply where the breeding of the variety, by its nature, falls within the scope of the business of the employer etc. and, moreover, the acts which have lead to the said breeding fall within the duties of the employee etc. (hereinafter referred to as "employee-bred variety as part of his/her duties").
(2) Where it has been stipulated in advance in a contract, service regulation or any other stipulation that an employer etc. shall file an application for variety registration of an employee-bred variety as part of his/her duties , the said employer, etc. shall have the position to obtain the variety registration pertaining to the said employee-bred variety as part of his/her duties. In this case, an employee etc. shall be entitled to receive reasonable amount of money and other economic benefits (referred to as "reasonable benefits" in the next paragraph).
(3) The content of the reasonable benefits to be received pursuant to the provisions of the preceding paragraph shall be determined in consideration of the benefits receivable by the employer etc. from the employee-bred variety as part of his/her duties, the extent to which the employer etc. has made efforts for and contributed to the breeding of that variety, the treatment of employee, etc. and other circumstances.
(4) The provisions of the second sentence of paragraph (2) and the preceding paragraph shall apply mutatis mutandis to the case where the employer etc. filed an application for variety registration with respect to the employee-bred variety as part of his/her duties (excluding the case in paragraph (2)) or the case where an employee etc. had the title of applicant transferred or, had, after the employee etc. obtained a variety registration, the breeder's right transferred or an exclusive exploitation right granted.
(5) Where an employee etc. or his/her successor in title has obtained a variety registration relating to an employee-bred variety as part of his/her duties, his/ her employer etc. or his/her general successor shall be granted a non-exclusive exploitation right on the variety concerned.
(First-to-file Rule)
Article 9 (1) Where two or more applications for variety registration has been filed in relation to an identical variety or to varieties that are not clearly distinguishable from each other by the expressions of the characteristics, only the applicant who filed the application for variety registration first shall be entitled to obtain a variety registration.
(2) Where an application for variety registration has been withdrawn or dismissed, such an application shall, for the purpose of paragraph (1) of this Article, be deemed never to have been filed.
(3) An application for variety registration filed by a person who is not the breeder of the variety concerned shall, for the purpose of paragraph (1) of this Article, be deemed not to be an application for variety registration.
(Enjoyment of Rights by Foreign Nationals)
Article 10 A foreign national who has neither domicile nor residence (nor business office, in the case of a juridical person) in Japan may not enjoy a breeder's right or any other rights relating to a breeder's right, except in cases falling under any of the following items:
(i) where the state to which the person belongs or the state in which the person has domicile or residence (in the case of a juridical person, business office) is a State party to the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants of December 2, 1961, as amended at Geneva on November 10, 1972, on October 23, 1978 and on March 19, 1991 (hereinafter referred to as "State Party") or a member State of an intergovernmental organization which is bound by the said Convention (hereinafter referred to as "Intergovernmental Organization Party"; "State Parties and member states of an Intergovernmental Organization Party" being hereinafter collectively referred to as "Contracting Parties")
(ii) where the state to which the person belongs or the state in which the person has domicile or residence (in the case of a juridical person, its business office) is a State party to the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants of December 2, 1961, as amended at Geneva on November 10, 1972 and on October 23, 1978 (including States in relation with which Japan is to apply the said Convention pursuant to the provision of Article 34 (2) of the said Convention; hereinafter referred to as "Member State") and if the said state provides protection for the plant genus or species to which the person's applied variety belongs (except for the case prescribed in the preceding item).
(iii) where the state to which the person belongs provides Japanese nationals with the protection on varieties under the same conditions as for its own nationals (including states which provide Japanese nationals with such protection, provided that Japan allows nationals of that state to enjoy a breeder's right and other rights related to a breeder's right) and if the said state provides protection for the plant genus or species to which the person's applied variety belongs (except for the cases prescribed in the preceding two items).
(iv) where specifically provided for by any convention in addition to the preceding three items.
(Application Procedures for Variety Registration by a Variety Registration Administrator)
Article 10-2 (1) A person who has neither domicile nor residence (nor business office, in the case of a juridical person) in Japan (referred to as "overseas resident" in the next paragraph) may not, unless otherwise specified by Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, perform the procedures for an application for variety registration and other procedures for variety registrations (simply referred to as "procedures" in Article 10-2, paragraph (2)) except through an agent for the said person's variety registration who has domicile or residence in Japan (referred to as "variety registration administrator" in Article 10-2, paragraph (2)).
(2) A variety registration administrator shall act as an agent for the principal with regard to all the procedures. However, this shall not apply where the overseas resident limits the scope of the authority of representation of the variety registration administrator.
(Right of Priority)
Article 11 (1) Any person listed in any of the following items may, if the conditions prescribed respectively in those items are met, claim a right of priority at the time of filing the application, pursuant to the provisions of the Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
(i) a person who has filed an equivalent application(s) to the application for variety registration in a State Party, an Intergovernmental Organization Party or a Member State (hereinafter collectively referred to as "application in a State Party") or his/ her successor in title (limited to a Japanese national, a person belonging to a Contracting Party or a Member State, or a person having a domicile or residence (in the case of a juridical person, business office) in Japan, a Contracting Party or a Member State): where the person or his/her successor in title files an application for variety registration in relation to the variety pertaining to the said application in a State Party, within one year from the day following the date of filing of the first application in a State Party (hereinafter referred to as "date of application in a State Party"); or
(ii) a person who has filed an equivalent applicationto the application for variety registration in a State provided in Article 10, item (iii) which allows Japanese nationals to claim a right of priority under the same conditions as Japan does (excluding State Parties and Member States; hereinafter referred to as "Designated State")(hereinafter referred to as "application in a Designated State") or his/her successor in title (limited to a Japanese national or a person belonging to a Designated State): where the person or his/her successor in title files an application for variety registration in relation to the variety pertaining to the said application in a Designated State, within one year from the day following the date of the filing of the first application in a Designated State (hereinafter referred to as "date of application in a Designated State").
(2) Where the applicant has claimed the right of priority in relation to an applied variety pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (1) of this Article, any application for variety registration, publication, transfer or any other acts made in relation to varieties which are identical to or not clearly distinguishable from the applied variety by its expressions of the characteristics, within a period from the date of application in a State Party or the date of application in a Designated State to the date of the application for variety registration in relation to the said applied variety, shall not constitute a ground for preventing the said applied variety from registration.
(Correction of Application for Variety Registration)
Article 12 (1) The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries may order the applicant to correct the application for variety registration, designating an adequate time limit, in any of the following cases;
(i) where the application for variety registration does not comply with the formal requirements prescribed in this Act or in orders or ordinances thereunder; or
(ii) where the applicant does not pay the application fee payable under the provisions of paragraph (1) of Article 6.
(2) The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries may dismiss the application for variety registration, if the person who has been ordered to correct the application for variety registration pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (1) of this Article does not correct it within the time limit designated pursuant to the provision of the said paragraph.
Section 2 Publication of Application
(Publication of Application)
Article 13 (1) When an application for variety registration is received (or when a corrected application for variety registration is received if, pursuant to the provision of paragraph (1) of Article 12, correction of the application for variety registration has been ordered), the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries shall publish the application for variety registration without delay by publicly notifying the following matters:
(i) the application number and the filing date of the application for variety registration;
(ii) the name and the domicile or residence of the applicant;
(iii) the genus or species of the agricultural, forestry or aquatic plant to which the applied variety belongs;
(iv) the denomination of the applied variety;
(v) the date of the publication of the application; and
(vi) other necessary matters in addition to what is listed in the preceding items.
(2) Where the application for variety registration has been abandoned, withdrawn or dismissed after the publication of the application, or when the application for variety registration has been rejected, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries shall publicly notify that effect.
(Effects etc. of Publication of Application)
Article 14 (1) Where the applicant has, after the publication of his/her application, given warning by presenting a written statement setting forth the particularities of the applied variety, he/she may claim, against a person who has exploited in the course of business, after the warning and prior to the variety registration, that applied variety, a variety which is, by its expressions of the characteristics, not clearly distinguishable from that applied variety, or a variety to which the provisions of each item of Article 20 paragraph (2) would apply if the said applied variety were registered, compensation in an amount equivalent to the amount which the applicant would be entitled to receive if that applied variety were registered. Even in the absence of such warning, the same shall apply to a person who has exploited in the course of business an applied variety (including a variety which, by its expressions of the characteristics, is not clearly distinguishable from the applied variety and a variety to which the provision of each item of Article 20 paragraph (2) would apply if the applied variety were registered; the same shall apply hereinafter in this Article) with knowledge that the variety which he/she exploited was an applied variety pertaining to the publication of application, prior to the variety registration.
(2) The right to claim compensation prescribed in paragraph (1) of this Article can be exercised only after the variety registration with respect to the variety concerned.
(3) The exercise of the right to claim compensation prescribed in paragraph (1) of this Article shall not preclude the exercise of the breeder's right.
(4) Where the application for variety registration has been abandoned, withdrawn or dismissed after the publication of application where the application for variety registration has been rejected where the variety registration has been canceled pursuant to the provisions of either item 1 or 4 of Article 49 paragraph (1), where a decision to cancel the variety registration has become final and binding, which upholds the ground for an objection to the variety registration pursuant to the Administrative Appeal Act (Act No. 160 of 1962), or where a judgment to cancel or to confirm nullity of the variety registration has become final and binding, the right to claim compensation under paragraph (1) of this Article shall be deemed never to have established.
(5) Articles 36, 37, 38, 40, 41, 42 and 43 of this Act as well as Articles 719 and 724 of the Civil Code (Act No. 89 of 1896) shall apply mutatis mutandis to the exercise of the right to claim compensation as prescribed in paragraph (1) of this Article. In this case, where a holder of the right to claim compensation has become aware of the fact that the applied variety pertaining to the application for variety registration had been exploited and of the person who had exploited the applied variety prior to the variety registration with respect to that variety, the term "the time when the victim or his/her legal representative became aware of such damage and perpetrator" in Article 724 of the said Code shall be deemed to be replaced with "the date of the variety registration."
Section 3 Examination
(Examination of Applied Variety)
Article 15 (1) The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries may order the applicant to submit entire plants or parts of plants of the applied variety or other material necessary for examination of the applied variety.
(2) The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries shall, in the course of the examination of the applied variety, cause officers of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to carry out on-site inspections or the Incorporated administrative agency National Center for Seeds and Seedlings (hereinafter referred to as "NCSS") to carry out growing tests. However, this shall not apply where it is found unnecessary to do so for the purpose of the examination of the applied variety.
(3) The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries may request relevant administrative organs, educational institutions or other persons whom he/she finds appropriate, to carry out on-site inspections prescribed in paragraph (2) of this Article.
(4) Items to be tested, test methods and other matters necessary for the carrying-out of the growing tests set forth in paragraph (2) of this Article shall be specified by the Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
(5) The NCSS may, with the consent of the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, request relevant administrative organs, educational institutions or other persons whom it finds appropriate, to carry out growing tests prescribed in paragraph (2) of this Article.
(6) The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries may, where he/she finds it necessary in order to ensure the proper carrying-out of the growing tests, issue orders to the NCSS in relation to growing tests prescribed in paragraph (2) of this Article.
(Order to Change Denomination)
Article 16 (1) Where the denomination of the applied variety falls under any of the items of Article 4 paragraph (1), the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries may order the applicant to change it to another denomination which does not fall under any of the items of the said paragraph, designating an adequate time limit.
(2) Where the denomination, after the publication of application, has been changed pursuant to the provision of the preceding paragraph, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries shall publicly notify information to that effect.
(Rejection of Application for Variety Registration)
Article 17 (1) Where an application for variety registration falls under any of the following items, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries shall reject, in writing, the application for variety registration:
(i) the applied variety is not registerable pursuant to the provisions of Article 3 paragraph (1), Article 4 paragraph (2), Article 5 paragraph (3), Article 9 paragraph (1) or Article 10; or
(ii) the applicant, without justifiable grounds, fails to comply with the order prescribed in Article 15 paragraph (1), refuses the on-site inspection as prescribed in paragraph (2) of the said Article or fails to comply with the order prescribed in paragraph (1) of Article 16.
(2) When the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries intends to reject an application for variety registration pursuant to the provision of paragraph (1) of this Article, he/she shall notify the applicant of the reason for the rejection and give him/her an opportunity to submit a written opinion of his/her arguments, designating an adequate time limit.
(Variety Registration)
Article 18 (1) The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries shall register the variety unless the application for variety registration shall be rejected pursuant to the provision of paragraph (1) of Article 17.
(2) A variety registration shall be completed upon the entry of the following matters in the Registry of Plant Varieties:
(i) the registration number and the date of variety registration;
(ii) the genus or species of the agricultural, forestry or aquatic plant to which the variety belongs;
(iii) the denomination of the variety;
(iv) the expression of the characteristics of the variety;
(v) the duration of the breeder's right;
(vi) the name and domicile or residence of the person obtaining the variety registration; and
(vii) in addition to what is listed in the preceding items, the matters specified by the Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
(3) When he/she has registered a variety pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (1) of this Article, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries shall notify the person who obtains the variety registration accordingly, and publicly notify the matters prescribed by the Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
Section 4 Breeder's Right
(Grant and Duration of the Breeder's Right)
Article 19 (1) A breeder's right shall become effective upon a variety registration.
(2) Duration of a breeder's right shall be twenty-five years (thirty years, in the case of varieties provided in Article 4 paragraph (2)) from the date of variety registration.
(Effects of the Breeder's Right)
Article 20 (1) The holder of a breeder's right shall have an exclusive right to exploit, in the course of business, the variety which is registered (hereinafter referred to as "registered variety") and varieties which, by the expressions of the characteristics, are not clearly distinguishable from the registered variety. However, this shall not apply where an exclusive exploitation right is granted in relation to the breeder's right, to the extent where the holder of the exclusive exploitation right is granted an exclusive right to exploit those varieties.
(2) The holder of the breeder's right for a registered variety shall also have an exclusive right to exploit varieties described in following items, the scope of which shall be the same as the right which the breeders of the said varieties would, if obtained a variety registration, be granted. In this case, the proviso of paragraph (1) of this Article shall apply mutatis mutandis.
(i) varieties which are bred by changing parts of the expressions of the characteristics of the registered variety while retaining the expressions of its essential characteristics using such methods as selection of a mutant, backcrossing, transformation by genetic engineering or other methods specified by the Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and which are clearly distinguishable from the initial registered variety by the expressions of the characteristics; or
(ii) varieties whose production requires the repeated use of the registered variety.
(3) Where a registered variety is bred by changing parts of the expressions of the characteristics of a variety other than the registered variety while retaining the expressions of its essential characteristics using methods specified by the Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries prescribed in item 1 of paragraph (2) of this Article, for the purpose of the application of paragraph (2) of this Article and paragraph (2) of Article 21, the words "following items" in paragraph (2) of this Article and "each item of paragraph (2) of Article 20" in paragraph (2) of Article 21 shall be deemed to be replaced with the words "item 2" and "item 2 of paragraph (2) of Article 20," respectively.
(Limitation of the effects of the Breeder's Right)
Article 21 (1) The effects of a breeder's right shall not extend to the following acts:
(i) exploitation of the variety for the purpose of breeding new varieties and for other experimental and research purposes;
(ii) production of propagating material of the registered variety, by a person who has a patent right for the process of breeding the registered variety (including varieties which are, by the expressions of the characteristics, not clearly distinguishable from the registered variety; hereinafter the same shall apply in this paragraph) or by a person who has been granted an exclusive license or non-exclusive license on the said patent right, by means of the process pertaining to the said patent, or conditioning, offering for transfer, transferring, exporting, importing or stocking for the purpose of any of these acts, of the said propagating material;
(iii) production of propagating material of the registered variety after the lapse of the patent right set forth in item (ii) of this paragraph, by any person, by means of the process pertaining to the said patent, or conditioning, offering for transfer, transferring, exporting, importing or stocking for the purpose of any of these acts, of the said propagating material; or
(iv) production, offering for transfer or lease, transferring, leasing, exporting, importing or stocking for the purpose of any of these acts, of the harvested material obtained through the use of the propagating material set forth in items (ii) and (iii) of this paragraph.
(v) production, offering for transfer or lease, transferring, leasing, exporting, importing or stocking for the purpose of any of these acts, of the processed products pertaining to the harvested material set forth in item (iv) of this paragraph.
(2) Where farmers as prescribed by the Cabinet Order has obtained harvested material through the use of propagating material of a registered variety, varieties which, by the expressions of the characteristics, are not clearly distinguishable from the registered variety, or varieties listed in each item of paragraph (2) of Article 20 pertaining to the registered variety (hereinafter collectively referred to as "registered variety etc.") which have been transferred by the holder of the breeder's right, the holder of an exclusive exploitation right or the holder of a non-exclusive exploitation right, and further use, on their own holdings, the said harvested material as propagating material for the next production cycle, the effects of the breeder's right shall not extend to the said propagating material used for the next production cycle, the harvested material obtained through the use of it, and processed products pertaining to such harvested material, unless otherwise agreed upon by contract.
(3) The provision of paragraph (2) of this Article shall not apply where farmers use propagating material of varieties which belong to any one of the genera or species designated by the Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries as being propagated vegetatively.
(4) Where propagating material, harvested material or processed products of a registered variety has been transferred by the holder of the breeder's right, the holder of an exclusive exploitation right or the holder of a non-exclusive exploitation right, or as the result of the acts listed in any of the items of the preceding paragraph, the effects of the breeder's right for the said registered variety shall not extend to the exploitation of the transferred propagating material, harvested material or processed products. However, this shall not apply to the acts which involve further propagation of the said registered variety etc., nor to the exporting of propagating material of the said registered variety to a state which does not provide protection for the plant genus or species to which that registered variety belongs nor to the exporting of harvested material of that registered variety to such a State for a purpose other than final consumption.
(Special Provisions on the Limitation of the Effects of the Breeder's Right)
Article 21-2 (1) A person who intends to obtain a variety registration may, in the cases listed in the following items, file to the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries a notification describing the matters specified in the said items at the same time as the application for the variety registration pursuant to the provisions of Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, in order to secure the appropriate exercise of the breeder's right pertaining to the said variety registration.
(i) in cases of preventing the propagating material of the said applied variety from flowing out to other States where the applicant believes that the measures to protect applied varieties might not be taken, the following matters;
(a) a State designated by the applicant as a State where appropriate measures to protect the said applied variety will be taken (excluding the States prescribed in the proviso of Article 21, paragraph (2)) (hereinafter referred to as "designated State");
(b) the intention of prohibiting the act of exporting propagating material or harvested material for purposes other than final consumption to the States other than designated States (excluding the States prescribed in the proviso of Article 21, paragraph (2)) without authorization
(ii) in cases of forming a production area of the applied variety, the following matters;
(a) an area designated by the applicant as a production area of the said applied variety (hereinafter referred to as "designated area");
(b) the intention of prohibiting the act of producing harvested materials obtained through the use of the propagating material in an area other than the designated area without authorization
(2) The person who filed a notification under the preceding paragraph (including his/her successor in title; the same shall apply to Article 21-3, paragraphs (1) and (2) and Article 21-4, paragraphs (1) and (2)) may notify the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to the effect that all or part of the designation of the designated state or designated area pertaining to the said notification will be cancelled only before a public notice under the following paragraph is made (limited to public notices made in conjunction with public notices under Article 13, paragraph (1)).
(3) Where a notification under paragraph (1) has been filed, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries shall, in conjunction with public notices under Article 13, paragraph (1) or Article 18, paragraph (3), make a public notice of the matters listed in Article 13, paragraph (1), items (i) through (iv) and the matters pertaining to the said notification (in case where a notification was filed under the preceding paragraph, the matters after the changes pertaining to the said notification; hereinafter the same shall apply to this paragraph, the following paragraph, and Article 21-4, paragraph (3)) or the matters listed in Article 18, paragraph (2), items (i), (ii), (iii) and (vi) and the matters pertaining to the said notification, respectively.
(4) The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries shall, when having made a public notice under the preceding paragraph (limited to a public notice made in conjunction with the one under Article 18, paragraph (3)), state in the Registry of Plant Varieties the matters pertaining to the notification under paragraph (1) and the date on which the said public notice was made.
(5) On or after the day following the day on which the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries makes a public notice prescribed in the preceding paragraph, the person who transfers the propagating material of a registered variety in the course of business shall, when transferring the propagating material of a registered variety pertaining to the said public notice, place an indication on the propagating material to be transferred or the package thereof, indicating the act related to the propagating material is prohibited as prescribed in item (i) (b) or item (ii) (b) of paragraph (1) and the fact that the said public notice has been made with regard to the content of the said prohibition, pursuant to the provisions of Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, in addition to the indication under Article 55, paragraph (1).
(6) On or after the day following the day on which the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries makes a public notice pertaining to paragraph (4), a person engaged in exhibition or advertisement for the transfer of the propagating material of a registered variety in the course of business shall place an indication, or display it, on the propagating material to be exhibited or the package thereof if the person conducts an exhibition for the transfer of the propagating material of the registered variety pertaining to the said public notice, or place an indication, or display it, on the advertisement if the person makes an advertisement for the transfer of the propagating material of the registered variety pertaining to the said public notice, indicating the respective act related to the propagating material is prohibited as prescribed in item (i) (b) or item (ii) (b) of paragraph (1) and the fact that the said public notice has been made with regard to the content of the said restriction, pursuant to the provisions of Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, in addition to the indication under Article 55, paragraph (2).
(7) On or after the day following the day on which the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries makes a public notice prescribed in paragraph (4), notwithstanding the provisions of the main clause of Article 20, paragraph (2) the effects of the breeder's right shall extend to the acts prescribed in item (i) (b) or item (ii) (b) of paragraph (1) pertaining to the registered variety, etc. pertaining to the said public notice (hereinafter referred to as "acts of export, etc.").
(Addition of Designated State or Designated Area)
Article 21-3 (1) A person who filed a notification under Article 21-2, paragraph (1) may, after the public notice prescribed in Article 21-2, paragraph (4) was made, notify the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to the effect that a designated State or designated area will be added pursuant to the provisions of Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, if the person finds it necessary to add a designated State or designated area with regard to the said registered variety.
(2) A person who filed a notification under the preceding paragraph may, only before a public notice under the following paragraph is made, notify the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to the effect that all or part of the addition of a designated State or designated area pertaining to the said notification will be cancelled.
(3) When a notification under paragraph (1) is filed (excluding the cases where there is a notification that all of the addition of a designated State or designated area under the preceding paragraph is cancelled), the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries shall make a public notice of the matters listed in Article 18, paragraph (2), items (i), (ii), (iii) and (vi) pertaining to the said registered variety and the matters pertaining to the said notification (in case where a notification under the preceding paragraph was filed, the matters after the changes pertaining to the said notification; the same shall apply to the following paragraph and Article 21-4, paragraph (3)) .
(4) The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries shall, when having made a public notice under the preceding paragraph, state in the Registry of Plant Varieties the matters pertaining to the notification under paragraph (1) and the date on which the said public notice was made.
(5) On or after the day following the day on which the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries makes a public notice under paragraph (3), the provisions of Article 21-2, paragraph (7) shall not apply to the acts of export, etc. pertaining to the designated State or designated area that was added with regard to the registered variety, etc. pertaining to the said public notice.
(Withdrawal of Notification)
Article 21-4 (1) A person who filed a notification under Article 21-2, paragraph (1) may notify the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to the effect that the person will withdraw the said notification pursuant to the provisions of Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, if the person believes that there is no longer the need to impose prohibition on the acts of export, etc. with regard to the registered variety after the public notice under Article 21-2, paragraph (4) was made.
(2) A person who filed a notification under the preceding paragraph may, only before a public notice under the following paragraph is made, notify the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to the effect that the person will withdraw the said notification.
(3) Where a notification under paragraph (1) (excluding the cases where a notification under the preceding paragraph was filed) has been made, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries shall make a public notice of the matters listed in Article 18, paragraph (2), items (i), (ii), (iii) and (vi) pertaining the said registered variety, the matters pertaining to a notification under Article 21-2, paragraph (1) (including the matters pertaining to a notification under Article 21-3, paragraph (1)), and the effect that the notification under Article 21-2, paragraph (1) was withdrawn.
(4) The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries shall, when having made a public notice under the preceding paragraph, state in the Registry of Plant Varieties the fact that the notification under Article 21-2, paragraph (1) was withdrawn and the date on which the said public notice was made.
(5) On or after the day following the day on which the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries makes a public notice under paragraph (3), the provisions of Article 21-2, paragraphs (5) and (6) shall not apply to the indication of the propagating material of the registered variety pertaining to the said public notice.
(6) On or after the day following the day on which the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries makes a public notice under paragraph (3), the provisions of Article 21-2, paragraph (7) shall not apply to the acts of export, etc. with regard to the registered variety, etc. pertaining to the said public notice.
(Obligation to Use the Denomination)
Article 22 (1) When any person offers for transfer or transfers propagating material of a registered variety (including varieties whose registration have already expired: the same shall apply hereinafter in this Article) in the course of business, he/she shall be obliged to use the denomination of the said registered variety (where the denomination has been changed pursuant to the provisions of Article 48 paragraph (2), the denomination as changed.)
(2) When any person offers for transfer or transfers propagating material of a non-registered variety in the course of business, he/she shall be prohibited from using denomination of any registered varieties which belong to the genus or species of agricultural, forestry or aquatic plants to which the said non-registered variety belongs, or to the genus or species of agricultural, forestry or aquatic plants specified by the Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries as similar to the genus or species of agricultural, forestry or aquatic plants to which the said variety belongs.
(Jointly Held Breeder's Right)
Article 23 (1) Each of the joint holders of a breeder's right may neither transfer his/her share nor establish a pledge on it without the consent of all the other joint holders.
(2) Each of the joint holders of a breeder's right may, unless otherwise agreed upon by contract, exploit the registered variety etc. without the consent of the other joint holders.
(3) Each of the joint holders of a breeder's right may grant neither an exclusive exploitation right nor a non-exclusive exploitation right on the breeder's right without the consent of all the other joint holders.
(Extinction of a Breeder's Right due to the Dissolution of a Juridical person)
Article 24 A breeder's right shall be extinct in the following cases:
(i) where a juridical person holding a breeder's right dissolves, and the breeder's right shall vest in the national treasury pursuant to the provisions of Article 239, paragraph (3) of the Act on General Incorporated Associations and General Incorporated Foundations (Act No. 48 of 2006); or
(ii) where a natural person holding a breeder's right dies, and the breeder's right shall vest in the national treasury pursuant to the provisions of Article 959 of the Civil Code.
(Exclusive Exploitation Right)
Article 25 (1) The holder of a breeder's right may grant an exclusive exploitation right on his/her breeder's right.
(2) The holder of an exclusive exploitation right shall have an exclusive right to exploit the registered variety etc. pertaining to the exclusive exploitation right in the course of business to the extent laid down in contract granting the right.
(3) An exclusive exploitation right may be transferred only where the transfer is together with the transfer of the business in which the variety is exploited, where it is with the consent of the holder of the breeder's right, or where it is as a result of inheritance or other general successions.
(4) The holder of an exclusive exploitation right may establish a pledge or grant a non-exclusive exploitation right on the exclusive exploitation right only with the consent of the holder of the breeder's right.
(5) The provisions set forth in Article 23 shall apply mutatis mutandis to exclusive exploitation rights.
(Non-exclusive Exploitation Right)
Article 26 (1) The holder of a breeder's right may grant a non-exclusive exploitation right on his/her breeder's right.
(2) The holder of a non-exclusive exploitation right shall have the right to exploit the registered variety etc. pertaining to the non-exclusive exploitation right in the course of business pursuant to the provision of this Act or to the extent laid down in contract granting the right.
(Non-exclusive Exploitation Right by virtue of Prior Breeding)
Article 27 A person who has bred, earlier than the breeder of a registered variety, a variety that, by the expressions of the characteristics, is identical to or not clearly distinguishable from the registered variety shall have a non-exclusive exploitation right on the breeder's right pertaining to the said registered variety.
(Arbitration)
Article 28 (1) Where a registered variety etc. has not been adequately exploited continuously for two years or more in Japan, or where the exploitation of a registered variety etc. is especially necessary for the reason of public interest, a person who intends to exploit the said registered variety etc. in the course of business may request the holder of the breeder's right or the holder of an exclusive exploitation right for the said registered variety to hold consultations concerning the grant of a non-exclusive exploitation right thereon.
(2) Where no agreement has been reached by the consultations set forth in paragraph (1) of this Article, or if such consultation has been unable to take place, the person provided in the said paragraph may apply for an arbitration decision with the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
(3) Where an application for the arbitration decision prescribed in paragraph (2) of this Article has been filed, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries shall make a public notice to that effect and notify in writing the holder of the breeder's right, the holder of an exclusive exploitation right, or other persons who have any right registered in relation to the registered variety pertaining to the said application accordingly and shall give them an opportunity to state their opinion, designating an adequate time limit.
(4) Where an application under paragraph (2) has been filed, the holder of a non-exclusive exploitation right may state his/her opinion within the time limit prescribed in the preceding paragraph.
(5) Unless he/she finds the exploitation of a registered variety, etc. especially necessary for the reason of public interest, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries shall not render an arbitration decision ordering a non-exclusive exploitation right to be granted where there is any justifiable ground why the registered variety etc. has not been exploited adequately.
(6) Before rendering an arbitration decision set forth in paragraph (2) of this Article, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries shall hear the opinions of the Agricultural Materials Council.
(7) An arbitration decision ordering a non-exclusive exploitation right to be granted shall set forth the scope of the non-exclusive exploitation right as well as the amount of consideration and the method of payment thereof.
(8) When he/she has rendered an arbitration decision in accordance with paragraph (2) of this Article, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries shall notify the parties, other persons who have rights registered in relation to the registered variety, and the holder of a non-exclusive exploitation right who stated his/her opinion pursuant to paragraph (4), accordingly.
(9) Upon the notification of the arbitration decision prescribed in paragraph (7) of this Article has been notified to the parties pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (8) of this Article, an agreement shall be deemed to have been reached between the parties concerned as provided in the arbitration decision.
(Transfer of a Non-exclusive Exploitation Right)
Article 29 (1) A non-exclusive exploitation right, with the exception of such as is granted by an arbitration decision set forth in paragraph (2) of Article 28, may be transferred only where the transfer is together with the transfer of the business in which the variety is exploited, where it is with the consent of the holder of the breeder's right (in the case of a non-exclusive exploitation right on an exclusive exploitation right, both the holder of the breeder's right and the holder of that exclusive exploitation right; the same shall apply also to paragraph (2) of this Article), or where it is as a result of inheritance or other general succession.
(2) The holder of a non-exclusive exploitation right, with the exception of such as is granted by an arbitration decision set forth in paragraph (2) of Article 28, may establish a pledge on that non-exclusive exploitation right only with the consent of the holder of the breeder's right.
(3) A non-exclusive exploitation right which has been granted by an arbitration decision set forth in paragraph (2) of Article 28 may be transferred only together with the business in which the variety is exploited.
(4) Paragraphs (1) and (2) of Article 23 shall apply mutatis mutandis to non-exclusive exploitation rights.
(Pledge)
Article 30 (1) Where a pledge is established on a breeder's right or an exclusive or non-exclusive exploitation right, the pledgee may not exploit the registered variety etc. unless otherwise agreed upon by contract.
(2) A pledge on a breeder's right, an exclusive exploitation right or a non-exclusive exploitation right may be exercised against consideration money to be paid for the breeder's right or the exclusive or non-exclusive exploitation right or against money or other goods that the holder of the breeder's right or of the exclusive exploitation right would be entitled to receive for the exploitation of the registered variety etc. However, an attachment order shall be obtained prior to the payment of money or delivery of goods.
(Waiver of the Breeder's Right)
Article 31 (1) Where there is any holder of an exclusive exploitation right, any pledgee or any holder of non-exclusive exploitation right under Article 8 paragraph (5), Article 25 paragraph (4) or Article 26 paragraph (1) in relation to a breeder's right, the holder of the breeder's right may waive his/her breeder's right only with the consent of all such persons.
(2) Where there is any pledgee or any holder of a non-exclusive exploitation right under Article 25 paragraph (4) in relation to an exclusive exploitation right, the holder of the exclusive exploitation right may waive his/her exclusive exploitation right only with the consent of all such persons.
(3) Where there is any pledgee in relation to a non-exclusive exploitation right, the holder of the non-exclusive exploitation right may waive his/her non-exclusive exploitation right only with the pledgee's consent.
(Effects of Registration)
Article 32 (1) The following matters shall take no effect unless they are registered:
(i) transfer (other than by inheritance or other general succession), extinction by waiver, or restrictions on the disposition, of a breeder's right;
(ii) grant, transfer (other than by inheritance or other general succession), modification, extinction (except as a result of a merger or extinction of the breeder's right), or restriction on the disposition, of an exclusive exploitation right, or
(iii) establishment, transfer (other than by inheritance or other general succession), modification, extinction (except as a result of a merger or extinction of a credit secured thereby), or restriction on the disposition, of a pledge on a breeder's right or an exclusive exploitation right.
(2) Inheritance or other general succession referred to in each item of paragraph (1) of this Article shall be notified to the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries without delay, pursuant to the provisions of the Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
(Perfection of a Non-exclusive Exploitation Right)
Article 32-2 A non-exclusive exploitation right shall also have an effect on any person who subsequently acquires the breeder's right or the exclusive exploitation right on the breeder's right.
Section 5 Infringement
(Injunction)
Article 33 (1) The holder of a breeder's right or the holder of an exclusive exploitation right may demand a person who infringes or is likely to infringe his/her breeder's right or exclusive exploitation right to discontinue or refrain from such infringement.
(2) The holder of a breeder's right or the holder of an exclusive exploitation right, in making the demand prescribed in paragraph (1) of this Article, may demand the destruction of the propagating material, the harvested material or the processed products which is a component of the act of infringement, or the objects used in the commission of the act of infringement, or other measures necessary for the prevention of such infringement.
(Presumption of Amount of Damages)
Article 34 (1) Where the holder of a breeder's right or of an exclusive exploitation right claims, against a person who has intentionally or negligently infringed his/her breeder's right or exclusive exploitation right, compensation for damages caused to him/her by the infringement, if the person has transferred the propagating material, the harvested material or the processed products which is the component of the act of infringement, the amount of damage suffered by the holder of the breeder's right or the holder of the exclusive exploitation right may be presumed, within the limit attainable by the holder of the breeder's right or the holder of the exclusive exploitation right in consideration of his/her capability to exploit such propagating material, harvested material or processed products, to be the amount given by multiplying the quantity of the propagating material, the harvested material or the processed products transferred by the person (hereinafter referred to in this paragraph as the "transferred quantity") by the profit per unit of the propagating material, the harvested material or the processed products which would have been sold by the holder of the breeder's right or the holder of the exclusive exploitation right if there had been no such an act of infringement. However, if there exists any circumstance under which the holder of the breeder's right or the holder of the exclusive exploitation right may not be able to sell the transferred quantity in whole or in part, the amount corresponding to the quantity which would not have been sold due to such a circumstance shall be deducted.
(2) Where the holder of a breeder's right or of an exclusive exploitation right claims, against a person who has intentionally or negligently infringed his/her breeder's right or exclusive exploitation right, compensation for damages caused to him by the infringement, if the person has gained any profits as a result of the act of infringement, the amount of the said profits shall be presumed to be the amount of damage suffered by the holder of the breeder's right or of the exclusive exploitation right
(3) The holder of a breeder's right or of an exclusive exploitation right may claim, against a person who has intentionally or negligently infringed his/her breeder's right or exclusive exploitation right, compensation for damage caused to him by the infringement, by regarding the amount of money which he/she would be entitled to receive from the exploitation of the registered variety etc., as the amount of damage suffered by him/her.
(4) The provision of paragraph (2) of this Article shall not preclude a claim for compensation for damages in an amount exceeding the amount provided in the said paragraph. In such cases, where the infringer of the breeder's right or the exclusive exploitation right had neither intent nor gross negligence in the commission of the act of infringement, the court may take such circumstances into consideration in determining the amount of damages.
(Presumption of Negligence)
Article 35 A person who has infringed a breeder's right or an exclusive exploitation right of another person shall be presumed to have been negligent in the commission of the said act of infringement.
(Obligation to Clarify the Specific Conditions)
Article 36 In litigation pertaining to the infringement of a breeder's right or an exclusive exploitation right, in order to deny the specific conditions of the propagating material, the harvested material or the processed products which the holder of a breeder's right or of an exclusive exploitation right claims as the component of the act of infringement, the opponent shall clarify the specific conditions of his/her act. However, this shall not apply where the opponent has reasonable grounds for being unable to do so.
(Submission of Documents)
Article 37 (1) In litigation pertaining to the infringement of a breeder's right or an exclusive exploitation right, the court may, upon the motion of a party, order the other party to submit documents necessary for proving the said act of infringement or for calculating of the damages caused by the said act of infringement. However, this shall not apply where the person possessing the documents has justifiable grounds for refusing the submission of the said documents.
(2) When the court finds it necessary for determining whether the documents pertaining to the petition in the main clause of the preceding paragraph fall under the documents in the main clause of the same paragraph or whether there are justifiable grounds as provided in the proviso of the same paragraph, the court may cause the person possessing the documents to present such documents. In this case, no person shall request the disclosure of the documents presented.
(3) In the case referred to in the preceding paragraph, when the court finds it necessary to hear opinions on whether the documents pertaining to the petition in the main clause of the paragraph (1) fall under the documents in the main clause of the same paragraph or whether there are justifiable grounds as provided in the proviso of the same paragraph by disclosing the documents as provided in the second sentence of the preceding paragraph, the court may disclose the documents to the parties, etc. (the parties (or, in the case of juridical persons, their representatives), their agents (excluding counsels and assistant in court), or their employees or any other workers; the same shall apply hereinafter), counsels or assistant in court.
(4) In the case referred to in paragraph (2), where the court finds it necessary to hear explanations based on expert knowledge by disclosing the documents as provided in the second sentence of the same paragraph, the court may, upon the consent of the parties, disclose the said documents to the experts committee members as provided in Part I, Chapter V, Section 2, Subsection 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure (Act No. 109 of 1996).
(5) The provisions in each of the preceding paragraphs shall apply mutatis mutandis to the presentation of purposes to be inspected necessary for proving the act of infringement in litigation pertaining to the infringement of a breeder's right or an exclusive exploitation right.
(Expert Opinion for Calculation of Damages)
Article 38 In litigation pertaining to the infringement of a breeder's right or an exclusive exploitation right, when, upon the motion of a party, the court orders an expert opinion necessary for the calculation of the damages caused by the said act of infringement, the other party shall explain to the expert witness the matters necessary for the expert opinion.
(Determination of a Reasonable Amount of Damage)
Article 39 In litigation pertaining to the infringement of a breeder's right or an exclusive exploitation right, where the court has determined that damage actually arose and where it is extremely difficult for the holder of a breeder's right or of an exclusive exploitation right, due to the nature of the facts, to prove the facts necessary for proving the amount of damage, the court may determine a reasonable amount of damage based on the entire import of oral argument and the result of the examination of evidence.
(Protective Order)
Article 40 (1) In litigation pertaining to the infringement of a breeder's right or an exclusive exploitation right, where there is prima-facie evidence of the fact that trade secrets (refers to trade secrets as provided in Article 2 (6) of the Unfair Competition Prevention Act (Act No. 47 of 1993), the same shall apply hereinafter) possessed by a party satisfy all of the following conditions, the court may, upon the motion of the party, order by a ruling that the parties, etc., counsels or assistant in courts shall neither use the trade secrets for any purpose other than those for the proceedings of the litigation nor disclose the trade secrets to any person other than those who receive the order regarding the trade secrets under this provision. However, this shall not apply where the parties, etc., counsels or assistant in courts have, prior to the filing of the motion, already obtained or been in the possession of the trade secrets by a method other than by reading of the briefs under item (i) or through the examination or disclosure of evidence under the said item.
(i) where the trade secrets possessed by the party were or are contained in the briefs already submitted or to be submitted or in the evidence already examined or to be examined (including documents disclosed pursuant to the provision in Article 37 paragraph (3) or Article 43 paragraph (4)); and
(ii) where it is necessary to restrict the use or the disclosure of the trade secrets prescribed in the preceding item to prevent any possible interference with the party's business activities based on the trade secrets, which might arise if the trade secrets are used for any purpose other than proceedings of the litigation or if the said trade secrets are disclosed.
(2) A motion requesting the order under the preceding paragraph (hereinafter referred to as "protective order") shall be made in writing specifying the following matters:
(i) the person(s) to whom the protective order is to be issued;
(ii) the facts that clearly identify the trade secrets to be protected by the protective order; and
(iii) the facts corresponding to the reasons each of the items in the preceding paragraph is applicable.
(3) Where the protective order is issued, a written ruling thereof shall be served to the person(s) to whom the protective order is issued.
(4) The protective order shall take effect as of the date the written ruling is served to the person(s) to whom the protective order is issued.
(5) The judicial decision dismissing a motion requesting the protective order may be subject to immediate appeal against a ruling.
(Rescission of Protective Order)
Article 41 (1) A person(s) who has filed a motion requesting a protective order or to whom a protective order is issued may file a motion with the court where the record of a case s is maintained (or, in the case of no such court maintaining the record of a case(s), the court issuing the protective order), requesting the rescission of the protective order on the ground that the requirements as provided in the previous Article paragraph (1) are not met or are no longer met.
(2) Where a judicial decision on a motion requesting the rescission of a protective order is rendered, a written ruling thereof shall be served to the person who filed the motion and the opponent in the case.
(3) The judicial decision on a motion requesting the rescission of a protective order may be subject to immediate appeal against a ruling.
(4) A judicial decision to the effect that a protective order is to be rescinded shall have no effect unless the judicial decision becomes final and binding.
(5) Where a judicial decision to the effect that a protective order is to be rescinded is rendered, the court shall immediately notify the person(s) who, in the litigation in which the said protective order was issued, received the protective order pertaining to the trade secrets who are neither the person filing the motion requesting the rescission of the protective order nor the opponent, if any, of the fact that the judicial decision to the effect that the protective order is to be rescinded was rendered.
(Notice of a Request Inspection of Record)
Article 42 (1) Where a ruling under Article 92 (1) of the Code of Civil Procedure was rendered pertaining to the record of litigation in which a protective order was issued (excluding litigation in which all protective orders have been rescinded), where a party to whom the protective order was not issued in the litigation requests inspection etc. of a part of the record in which the confidential information is contained, etc. under the said Article, immediately after the filing of the request, the court clerk shall notify the party who filed the motion under the said Article (excluding the person who filed the request, the same in paragraph (3)) of the fact that the said request has been filed.
(2) In the case of the preceding paragraph, the court clerk shall not allow the person who filed the request to inspect etc. the part in which confidential information is contained before a lapse of two weeks from the date of filing of the said request (or, where a motion requesting a protective order is filed prior to the day in which two weeks have lapsed, against the person who filed the request, before the judicial decision on the motion becomes final and binding).
(3) The preceding two paragraphs shall not apply where all the parties who filed a motion under Article 92 (1) of the Code of Civil Procedure give the consent to allow the person who filed a request under paragraph (1) to inspect etc. the part in which confidential information is contained.
(Suspension on Open Examination of Parties)
Article 43 (1) When a party, etc., to litigation pertaining to the infringement of a patent right or exclusive exploitation right is to be examined as a party to the litigation, its statutory representative or a witness, with pertaining to matters that will be a basis for the determination of the existence or non-existence of the said infringement, and such matters are trade secrets possessed by a party, the court may, by a ruling, elect to hold closed examinations of such matters where the court, upon the unanimous consent of all judges, finds that the parties, etc. will be unable to make sufficient statements regarding the matters due to the obvious fact that making statements regarding the matters at an open examination will significantly interfere with the business activities of the party based on such trade secrets and that, without such statements, a proper decision on the fact of the existence or non-existence of the infringement of a patent right or exclusive exploitation right that ought to be made based on the said matters may not be made based solely on other evidence.
(2) The court shall, in rendering the ruling as provided in the preceding paragraph, hear the opinions of the parties, etc. in advance.
(3) In the case of the preceding paragraph, where necessary, the court may cause the parties, etc., to present a document stating the gist of the matters to be stated. In such a case, no person may request the disclosure of the document presented.
(4) When the court finds it necessary to hear opinions by disclosing the document as provided in the second sentence of the preceding paragraph, the court may disclose the document to the parties, etc., their counsels or assistant in courts.
(5) Where the examination on certain matters is to be closed under paragraph (1), the court shall render such fact and reasons therefor prior to requiring the public to leave the court. Upon completion of the examination on said matters, the court shall allow the public to re-enter the court.
(Measures for Recovery of Credit)
Article 44 Upon the request of the holder of a breeder's right or of an exclusive exploitation right, the court may, in lieu of the compensation for damages or in addition thereto, order the person who has harmed the credit of the holder of the breeder's right or of the exclusive exploitation right by intentionally or negligently infringing his/her breeder's right or exclusive exploitation right, to take measures necessary for the recovery of the credit of the holder of the breeder's right or of the exclusive exploitation right.
Section 6 Maintenance and Rescission of a Variety Registration
(Registration Fee)
Article 45 (1) The holder of a breeder's right shall pay a registration fee, the amount of which shall be specified by the Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries but not exceeding 36,000 yen for each variety registration each year until the expiration of the duration as provided in Article 19 paragraph (2).
(2) The provision of paragraph (1) of this Article shall not apply where the holder of a breeder's right is the national government.
(3) Notwithstanding the provision of paragraph (1) of this Article, where the national government and other person jointly hold a breeder's right and they have an agreement on the sharing of the breeder's right, the amount of the registration fee set forth in paragraph (1) of this Article shall be the amount calculated by multiplying the amount of the registration fee specified by the Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries pursuant to paragraph (1) of this Article by the percentage of the share of such other person, which shall be paid by such other person.
(4) Where there is a fraction less than 10 yen in the amount of the registration fee as calculated pursuant to the provision of paragraph (3) of this Article, such a fraction shall be discarded.
(5) The registration fee for the first year prescribed in paragraph (1) of this Article shall be paid within 30 days from the date of public notice in accordance with the provisions of Article 18 paragraph (3).
(6) The registration fee for each year after the second year prescribed in paragraph (1) of this Article shall be paid by the end of the previous year.
(7) Where the holder of the breeder's right fails to pay registration fee within the time limit prescribed in paragraph (6) of this Article, he/she may make a late payment of the registration fee within 6 months after the expiration of period of time.
(8) The holder of a breeder's right who makes a late payment of the registration fee pursuant to the provision of paragraph (7) of this Article shall pay, in addition to the registration fee to be paid under the provision of paragraph (1) of this Article, a registration surcharge of the same amount as the registration fee.
(Payment of the Registration Fee by Interested Persons)
Article 46 (1) An interested person may pay the registration fee even against the will of the holder of the breeder's right.
(2) The interested person who has paid the registration fee pursuant to the provision of paragraph (1) of this Article may claim reimbursement of the expenses to the limit of the actual profit gained by the holder of the breeder's right.
(Examination of a Registered Variety)
Article 47 (1) The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries may order the holder of a breeder's right or of an exclusive exploitation right to submit entire plants or parts of plants of the registered variety or other material, where he/she finds it necessary in order to verify the maintenance of the expressions of the characteristics of the registered variety.
(2) The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries shall cause officers of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to carry out on-site inspections or cause the NCSS to carry out growing tests in the case prescribed in paragraph (1) of this Article.
(3) The provisions of paragraphs (3) to (6) inclusive of Article 15 shall apply mutatis mutandis to the on-site inspections or growing tests set forth in paragraph (2) of this Article.
(Change of Denomination of a Registered Variety)
Article 48 (1) When it is found that the denomination of a registered variety falls under any of the provisions of items 2 to 4 inclusive of Article 4 paragraph (1), the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries may, upon the request of an interested person or ex officio, order the holder of the breeder's right to submit another denomination which does not fall under any of the items of the said paragraph, designating an adequate time limit.
(2) When a denomination falling under none of the items of Article 4 paragraph (1) has been submitted pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (1) of this Article, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries shall change the denomination of the said registered variety to the submitted denomination by entering it in the Registry of Plant Varieties.
(3) When the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has changed the denomination of a registered variety pursuant to the provision of paragraph (2) of this Article, he/she shall notify the holder of the breeder's right for the said registered variety and publicly notify information to that effect.
(Rescission of the Variety Registration)
Article 49 (1) The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries shall rescind a variety registration in any one of the following cases:
(i) where it has turned out that the variety was registered in violation of the provisions of Article 3 paragraph (1), Article 4 paragraph (2), Article 5 paragraph (3), Article 9 paragraph (1) or Article 10;
(ii) where it has turned out that, after the variety registration, the registered variety no longer satisfies the requirements listed in item 2 or 3 of Article 3 paragraph (1);
(iii) where, after the variety registration, the holder of the breeder's right has become a person who may not enjoy a breeder's right pursuant to the provisions of Article 10;
(iv) where the registration fee for the first year is not paid within the period provided in Article 45 paragraph (5);
(v) where the registration fee and the registration surcharge are not paid within the period provided in Article 45 paragraph (7);
(vi) where the person who was ordered to submit material pursuant to the provisions of Article 47 paragraph (1) fails to comply with the order without justifiable grounds; or
(vii) when the person who was ordered to submit another denomination of the registered variety pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (1) of this Article fails to comply with the order without justifiable grounds.
(2) In conducting a hearing pertaining to the rescission of a variety registration pursuant to any of the provisions of items (i), (ii), (iii), (vi), or (vii) of paragraph (1) of this Article, a notice shall be given to the holder of an exclusive exploitation right or of any other rights registered in relation to the breeder's right pertaining to the said variety registration under Article 15, paragraph (1) of the Administrative Procedure Act (Act No. 88 of 1993), and the date of hearing and the place shall be publicly notified within a reasonable period of time before the date of hearing.
(3) Where the persons prescribed in paragraph (2) or the holders of a non-exclusive exploitation right pertaining to the breeder's right pertaining to the variety registration in the same paragraph request to participate in the said hearing, the chairperson of the hearing set forth in the preceding paragraph shall permit him/her to do so under Article 17, paragraph (1) of the Administrative Procedure Act.
(4) When the variety registration has been rescinded pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (1) of this Article, the breeder's right shall be extinct at the time of cancellation. However, in the case of any of the following items, the breeder's right shall be deemed to have been extinct retroactively from the time specified respectively in those items.
(i) the case falling under item 1 or 4 of paragraph (1) of this Article: the time of variety registration;
(ii) the case falling under item 3 of paragraph (1) of this Article: the time when the said item became applicable; or
(iii) the case falling under item 5 of paragraph (1) of this Article: the time when the time limit provided in Article 45 paragraph (6) has elapsed.
(5) When the variety registration has been canceled pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (1) of this Article, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries shall notify the holder of the breeder's right pertaining to the said variety registration and publicly notify information to that effect.
(6) With respect to the rescission of a variety registration under the provisions of item 4 or 5 of paragraph (1) of this Article, the provisions of Chapter III (excluding Articles 12 and 14) of the Administrative Procedure Act shall not apply.
Section 7 Miscellaneous Provisions
(Jurisdiction for an Overseas Resident)
Article 50 With respect to the breeder's right or any other rights relating to a breeder's right held by a person who has neither domicile nor residence (nor business office, in the case of a juridical person) in Japan, the location of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries shall be deemed to be the location of the property under Article 5 paragraph (4) of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(Special Provisions for Application of a Request for Examination of a Variety Registration)
Article 51 (1) The provision of Article 18 of the Administrative Appeal Act (Act No. 68 of 2014) shall not apply to application of a request for examination of a variety registration.
(2) In application an examination for a request for examination of a variety registration, within a reasonable period of time, a notice shall be given to the holder of the breeder's right or of the exclusive exploitation right or of any other rights registered in relation to the said variety registration, and it shall be publicly notified.
(3) Where the person who received a notice pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (2) of this Article or the holder of a non-exclusive exploitation right pertaining to the breeder's right pertaining to the variety registration in the same paragraph requests to participate in the said application of a request for examination, a review officer set forth in Article 11, paragraph (2) of the Administrative Appeal Act shall permit him/her to do so.
(Registration in the Registry of Plant Varieties)
Article 52 (1) The following matters shall be registered in the Register of Plant Varieties kept in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries:
(i) grant, transfer, extinction or restriction on the disposition, of a breeder's right;
(ii) grant, preservation, transfer, modification, extinction or restriction on the disposition, of an exclusive exploitation right; or
(iii) establishment, transfer, modification, extinction or restriction on disposition, of a pledge on a breeder's right or an exclusive exploitation right.
(2) In addition to what is provided for in this Act, matters necessary for variety registration and the Registry of Plant Varieties shall be prescribed by the Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
(Request for Certification)
Article 53 (1) Any person may file a request for any of the following from the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, pursuant to the provisions of the Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries:
(i) certificate relating to an application for variety registration or a registered variety;
(ii) issue of a transcript or extract of the Registry of Plant Varieties or
(iii) inspection or copying of the Registry of Plant Varieties or a request filed set forth in Article 5 paragraph (1), photograph or other material attached thereto (excluding those which the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries considers necessary to be kept confidential).
(2) The provisions of Rules of Act on Access to Information Held by Administrative Organs (Act No. 42 of 1999) shall not apply to the Registry of Plant Varieties, to applications filed under Article 5 paragraph (1), nor to photographs or other material attached thereto (referred to in the next paragraph as "the Registry of Plant Varieties, etc.")
(3) The provisions of Chapter 4 of the Act on the Protection of Personal Information Held by Administrative Organs (Act No. 58 of 2003) shall not apply to possessed personal information (referring to possessed personal information as provided in Article 2 paragraph (5) of the said Act) recorded in the Registry of Plant Varieties, etc.
(Fees)
Article 54 (1) The person filing a request pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (1) of Article 46 shall pay the fee in an amount to be specified, in consideration of the actual costs, by the Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
(2) The provisions of paragraph (1) of this Article shall not apply where the person who should pay the fee pursuant to the provision of the said paragraph is the national government.
(Indication of Registered Variety)
Article 55 (1) Any person who transfers propagating material in the course of the business shall place an indication on the propagating material of a registered variety he/she transfers or the package thereof, which indicates the said propagating material is of a registered variety pursuant to the provisions of Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
(2) Any person engaged in exhibition or advertisement for the transfer of a propagating material of a registered variety in the course of business shall, pursuant to the provisions of Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, place an indication on the propagating material to be exhibited or the package thereof, which indicates the propagating material is of a registered variety, if the person conducts an exhibition for the transfer of the propagating material of the registered variety, or place the indication on the advertisement if the person makes an advertisement for the transfer of the propagating material of the registered variety.
(Prohibition of Fictitious manifestation of intention)
Article 56 Any person shall be prohibited from doing any of the following acts;
(i) placing an indication which indicates the propagating material is of a registered variety or a confusing indication therewith on propagating material of anon-registered variety or the package thereof,
(ii) transferring or displaying for the purpose of transfer the propagating material of a non-registered variety with an indication which indicates the propagating material is of a registered variety or a confusing indication therewith on them or on the package thereof,
(iii) giving in an advertisement, for the purpose of transferring the propagating material of a non-registered variety, an indication that the propagating material is of a registered variety or a confusing indication therewith.
(Effects of Convention)
Article 57 Where there are specific provisions relating to the protection of new plant varieties in any convention, such provisions shall prevail.
(Public Notice)
Article 57-2 (1) The public notice under this Act shall be effected by publication in the official gazette.
(2) The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries shall, when having made a public notice under this Act, publicly announce the date and details of the public notice via the Internet or through other means.
Chapter III Designated Seed
(Notification by Seed Dealers)
Article 58 (1) A seed dealer shall notify the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of the following matters, pursuant to the provisions of the Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. However, this shall not apply to those seed dealers specified by the Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
(i) the name and the domicile of the seed dealer;
(ii) the kinds of designated seeds which the seed dealer handles; and
(iii) other matters specified by the Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
(2) The same shall apply whenever any change is made in the matters set forth in paragraph (1) of this Article.
(3) The notification under paragraphs (1) and (2) of this Article shall be due, where business has been newly commenced, within two weeks after the commencement, and whenever any change is made in the matters referred to in paragraph (1) of this Article, within two weeks after such change.
(Indication of Designated Seeds)
Article 59 (1) Designated seeds shall not be sold unless its package is furnished with an indication containing the following matters or it is attached with a voucher indicating the said matters. However, this shall not apply where the matters listed in items 1 to 4 inclusive and item 6 of this paragraph pertaining to designated seeds are indicated by a notice or other readily visible means, or where designated seeds are sold by a person other than seed dealers.
(i) the name and the domicile of the seed dealer providing these matters;
(ii) the type and the variety name (in the case of grafted saplings, the types and the variety names of scion and rootstock) (in case variety name is unknown that effect);
(iii) the place of production;
(iv) in the case of seed, the date of production or the time limit of validity and the germination percentage;
(v) the quantity; and
(vi) any other matters specified by the Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
(2) The indication of the place of production under item 3 of paragraph (1) of this Article shall be done, in the case of a domestic product, by stating the prefecture in which the said place of the production is located, and, in the case of a foreign product, by stating the country in which the said place of the production is located.
(3) In addition to what is provided in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this Article, with regard to certain designated seeds for which he/she finds an indication is necessary for users to identify its suitable location for cultivation, usage and other features relevant to cultivation or exploitation in the selecting seeds of varieties suitable to the natural and economic conditions, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries shall determine and publicize the matters to be indicated for such identification and any other standard relating to the said indication, with which the seed dealers should comply.
(4) The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries may, where any seed dealer fails to comply with the standards determined pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (3) of this Article, issue to the seed dealer a recommendation concerning the standards to be complied with.
(Order relating to Designated Seeds)
Article 60 (1) The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries may order any seed dealer who has violated the provisions of paragraphs (1) and (2) of Article 50 to indicate the matters listed in each item of paragraph (1) of the said Article or to change the contents of the indicated matters, or may prohibit the sale of the designated seeds pertaining to the act of violation.
(2) The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries may, where any seed dealer fails to comply with the recommendation issued pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (4) of Article 50, order the seed dealer to comply with the standards set out under paragraph (3) of the said Article, designating a time limit.
(Standards relating to the Production of Designated Seeds)
Article 61 (1) The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries shall, where he/she finds it particularly necessary in order to secure the distribution of designated seeds of good quality, determine and publicize standards relating to the production, conditioning, stocking or packaging, of the said designated seeds, that should be complied with by persons producing the said seeds in the course of business and seed dealers.
(2) The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries may, where a person producing the designated seeds in the course of business or a seed dealer fails to comply with the standards determined under the provisions of paragraph (1) of this Article, issue to such a person a recommendation concerning the standards be complied with.
(3) The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries may, where any person producing the designated seeds in the course of business or any seed dealer fails to comply with the recommendation issued under paragraph (2) of this Article, publish the fact of non-compliance.
(Collection of Designated Seeds)
Article 62 (1) The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries may cause officers of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to collect from seed dealers such quantities of designated seeds as are necessary for inspection. However, compensation equivalent to the market value shall be paid.
(2) In the case referred to in paragraph (1) of this Article, such officers shall, where the seed dealer so requests, show a certificate to identify his/her official status.
(Collection of Designated Seeds made by NARO, etc.)
Article 63 (1) The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries may, when he/she finds it necessary, cause NARO or the Incorporated administrative agency National Livestock Breeding Center (hereinafter referred to as "NARO, etc.") in accordance with the classes, specified by the Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to collect from seed dealers such quantities of designated seeds as are necessary for inspection. However, compensation equivalent to the market value shall be paid.
(2) Where the collection is conducted by NARO, etc. pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (1) of this Article, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries shall issue an instruction to NARO, etc. to designate the date, place and other relevant items of information.
(3) NARO, etc., having conducted the collection referred to in paragraph (1) of this Article in accordance with an instruction set forth in paragraph (2) of this Article, shall report the result of the inspection to the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries pursuant to the Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
(4) In the case referred to in paragraph (1) of this Article, officials of NARO, etc. performing the collection pursuant to the provisions of the said paragraph shall, if the seed dealer so requests, show a certificate to identify his/her status.
(Orders to NARO, etc.)
Article 64 The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries may, when he/she finds it necessary in order to ensure an appropriate implementation of the collection under paragraph (1) of Article 52, issue orders to NARO, etc. in relation to the collection.
(Collection of Reports)
Article 65 The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries may, within such limits as are necessary for the enforcement of this Act, order seed dealers to submit reports relating to their business or to submit books or other documents.
(Delegation of Authority to Prefectural Governors)
Article 66 (1) Part of the authority of the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries under the provisions of Article 59 paragraph (4), Article 60, Article 61 paragraph (2) and (3), Article 62 and Article 65 may be delegated to Prefectural Governors, pursuant to the provisions of the Cabinet Order.
(2) Part of the authority of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries provided in this Chapter may be delegated to the Regional Agricultural Administration Offices, pursuant to the provisions of the Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
Chapter IV Penal Provisions
(Crime of Infringement)
Article 67 Any person who has infringed a breeder's right or an exclusive exploitation right shall be punished by imprisonment with work for not more than ten years or by a fine of not more than 10,000,000 yen, or combination thereof.
(Crime of Fraud)
Article 68 Any person who has obtained a variety registration by means of a fraudulent act shall be punished by imprisonment with work for not more than three years or by a fine of not more than 3,000,000 yen.
(Crime of Fictitious manifestation of intention)
Article 69 Any person who fails to comply with the provision of Article 56 shall be punished by imprisonment with work for not more than three years or by a fine of not more than 3,000,000 yen.
(Crime of Breach of Protective Order)
Article 70 (1) Any person who fails to comply with the protective order shall be punished by imprisonment with work for not more than five years or by a fine of not more than 5,000,000 yen, or combination thereof.
(2) The prosecution of the crime under the preceding paragraph may not be initiated unless a complaint is filed.
(3) The crime prescribed in paragraph (1) of this Article shall also apply to a person who commits the said crime abroad.
(Crime of Sales of Designated Seeds with False Indication)
Article 71 Any person who falls under any of the following items shall be punished by a fine of not more than 500,000 yen.
(i) a person who has sold designated Seeds with false indication concerning the matters to be shown pursuant to the provisions of paragraphs (1) and (2) of Article 59; or
(ii) a person who has sold designated Seed in violation of the dispositions taken pursuant to the provisions of Article 60 paragraph (1) or (2).
(Crime of False Notification)
Article 72 Any person who falls under any of the following items shall be punished by a fine of not more than 300,000 yen.
(i) a person who failed to notify pursuant to the provisions of Article 58 or made false notification;
(ii) a person who, without justifiable grounds, has refused, obstructed or evaded the collection set forth under Article 62 paragraph (1) or Article 63 paragraph (1); or
(iii) a person who failed to submit a report or document specified pursuant to the provision of Article 65 or submitted a false report or document.
(Dual Liability)
Article 73 (1) Where a representative of a juridical person, or an agent, an employee or any other worker of a juridical person or an individual has committed an act in violation of provisions prescribed in any of the following items with regard to the business of the juridical person or the individual, not only the offender shall be punished but also the said juridical person shall be punished by the fine prescribed respectively in those items, or the said individual shall be punished by the fine prescribed in the respective Articles.
(i) Article 67 or Article 70 paragraph (1): fine of not more than 300,000,000 yen;
(ii) Article 68 or Article 69: fine of not more than 100,000,000 yen;
(iii) Articles 71 or item 1 or 3 of Article 70: fine prescribed in any of these Articles.
(2) In the case referred to in the preceding paragraph, the complaint under Article 70 paragraph (2) against the offender shall also be effective against the juridical person or individual and the complaint against the juridical person or individual shall also be effective against the offender.
(3) When a juridical person or an individual is to be punished by fine due to the act of violation prescribed in Article 67 or Article 70 paragraph (1) pursuant to the provision of paragraph (1) of this Article, the period of prescription shall be the one for the crime prescribed in those provisions.
(Civil Non-penal fine for Violation of the Order)
Article 74 Where NARO, etc. violated the order prescribed in Article 15 paragraph (6) (including the cases where it is applied mutatis mutandis pursuant to Article 47, paragraph (3)) or Article 64, members of the executive organ that directed the violation shall be punished by a civil non-penal fine of not more than 200,000 yen.
(Civil Non-penal fine for Violation of the Obligation of Indicating Restrictions)
Article 75 Any person who falls under any of the following items shall be punished by a non-penal civil fine of not more than 100,000 yen.
(i) A person who violated the provisions of Article 21-2, paragraph (5) or (6)
(ii) A person who violated the provisions of Article 22
(iii) A person who violated the provisions of Article 55 (excluding those falling under item (i))
Supplementary Provisions [Extract from the Act No.74 of December 9, 2020] [Extract]
(Enforcement Date)
Article 1 This Act shall come into effect as from April 1, 2021. However, the provisions listed in the following items shall come into effect as of the date prescribed in the said respective items:
(i) the provisions revising the table of contents (limited to the part for revising "Article 57" to "Article 57-2"), the revised provisions that add one item to Article 10 and the revised provisions that add one Article after Article 57 in Chapter II, Section 7, and the provisions of Article 7 of the Supplementary Provisions; the date of promulgation
(ii) the revised provisions of Article 3, the revised provision of Article 4, the revised provision of Article 5, the revised provision of Article 6, paragraph (1), Article 15, the revised provisions that add three Articles after Article 15, the revised provisions of Article 17, the revised provisions that add one Article after Article 17, the revised provisions of Article 18, the revised provision of Article 21, the revised provisions that add two Articles after Article 35, the revised provisions of Article 45, paragraph (1), the revised provision of Article 47, the revised provision of Article 74, and the provisions of Article 5, Article 10, and Article 11 of the Supplementary Provisions; April 1, 2022
(Transitional Measures the Application Procedures for Variety Registration by a Variety Registration Administrator)
Article 2 The provisions of Article 10-2 of the Plant Variety Protection and Seed Act revised by this Act (hereinafter referred to as the "New Act") shall apply to a person who has neither domicile nor residence (nor registered office, in the case of a juridical person) in Japan (hereinafter referred to as "overseas resident" in this Article) who files an application for variety registration under Article 5, paragraph (1) of the New Act (in case before the date of enforcement of the provisions listed in the previous Article 1, item (ii) (hereinafter referred to as the "Item (ii) Date of Enforcement", in the Article 4 and Article 5 of the Supplementary Provisions) under Article 5, paragraph (1) of the Plant Variety Protection and Seed Act prior to revision by this Act (hereinafter referred to as the "Old Act")) after the date of enforcement of this Act (hereinafter referred to as the "Date of Enforcement"); with regard to an overseas resident who filed an application for variety registration under Article 5, paragraph (1) of the Old Act on or before the Date of Enforcement, the provisions then in force remain applicable.
(Transitional Measures pertaining to Notification of Restrictions Pertaining to the Acts of Export)
Article 3 (1) A person who filed an application for variety registration under Article 5, paragraph (1) of the Old Act and a person who obtained variety registration under Article 18, paragraph (1) of the Old Act at the time of the enforcement of this Act may, notwithstanding the provisions of Article 21-2, paragraph (1) of the New Act, file a notification under the same paragraph (limited to the part pertaining to item (i)), only within six months from the Date of Enforcement.
(2) With regard to the application of the provisions of Article 21-2, paragraph (3) of the New Act in case where the notification in the preceding paragraph is filed before a public notice under Article 18, paragraph (3) of the Old Act is made after a public notice is made under Article 13, paragraph (1) of the Plant Variety Protection and Seed Act, the term "Article 13, paragraph (1) or" in the same paragraph shall be read as the phrase "a public notice of the matters listed in Article 13, paragraph (1), items (i) through (iv) pertaining to the said applied variety and the matters pertaining to the said notification shall be made immediately, and," and the phrase "the matters listed in Article 13, paragraph (1), items (i) through (iv) and the matters pertaining to the said notification (in case where a notification under the preceding paragraph has been filed, the matters after the changes pertaining to the said notification; hereinafter the same shall apply to this paragraph, the following paragraph, and Article 21-4, paragraph (3)) or Article 18, paragraph (2), item (i), respectively, in conjunction with such public notices" in the same paragraph shall be read as the phrase "paragraph (2), item (i) of the same Article in conjunction with the said public notice".
(3) With regard to the application of the provisions of Article 21-2, paragraphs (3) and (4) of the New Act in case where the notification in the paragraph (1) is filed after a public notice under Article 18, paragraph (3) of the Old Act is made, the phrase "at the time of making a public notice under Article 13, paragraph (1) or Article 18, paragraph (3), the matters listed in Article 13, paragraph (1), items (i) through (iv) and the matters pertaining to the said notification (in case where a notification under the preceding paragraph, the matters after the changes pertaining to the said notification; hereinafter the same shall apply to this paragraph, the following paragraph, and Article 21-4, paragraph (3)) or Article 18, paragraph (2), item (i), respectively, in conjunction with such public notices" in Article 21-2, item (iii) shall be read as the phrase "immediately, Article 18, paragraph (2), item (i) pertaining to the said registered variety," and the term "public notice (limited to public notices made in conjunction with ones under Article 18, paragraph (3))" in Article 21-2, item (iv) shall be read as the term "public notice."
(Transitional Measures pertaining to the Application of the Provisions of Article 21-2, Paragraphs (1) and (7) of the New Act)
Article 4 With regard to the application of the provisions of Article 21-2, paragraphs (1) and (7) of the New Act during the period between the Date of Enforcement and the day proceeding the Item (ii) Date of Enforcement, the term "proviso of Article 21, paragraph (2)" in paragraph (1), item (i), (a) and (b) of Article 21-2 shall be read as the term "proviso of Article 21, paragraph (4)," and the term "the main clause of Article 20, paragraph (2)" in Article 21-2, paragraph (7) shall be read as the term "the main clause of Article 20, paragraph (4)."
(Transitional Measures pertaining to Non-exclusive Exploitation Right)
Article 6 (1) With regard to the transfer, modification, extinction or restriction on the disposition, of a non-exclusive exploitation right registered prior to the enforcement date pursuant to Article 32, paragraph (5) of the Old Act or the establishment, transfer, modification, extinction or restriction on disposition, of a pledge on a non-exclusive exploitation right, the provisions then in force remain applicable.
(2) The provisions of Article 32-2 of the New Act shall apply to a person who obtained a breeder's right or an exclusive exploitation right pertaining to a non-exclusive exploitation right or an exclusive exploitation right for the breeder's right after the enforcement date; with regard to a person who obtained such rights prior to the enforcement date, the provisions then in force remain applicable.
(Delegation to Cabinet Order)
Article 7 In addition to what is prescribed in these Supplementary Provisions, necessary transitional measures pertaining to the enforcement of this Act shall be prescribed by Cabinet Order.
(Consideration)
Article 8 After approximately five years from the enforcement of this Act, the government shall take into account the situation of the enforcement of the provisions revised by this Act, review the said provisions, and take any necessary measures based on the results thereof, when it is found necessary.