The PNPV Act is a pan-Malaysian by nature, which is applicable to all plants but excludes microorganisms. IPR protection of new variety is granted via a registration process based on validation of plant characteristics that distinguishes it from other varieties.
Under this PNPV Act, the scope of a breeder's right extends to acts carried out on a commercial basis including producing or reproducing, conditioning for the purpose of propagation, offering for sale, marketing, exporting, importing and stocking the material for the earlier activities. Hence, unauthorized conduct of such acts will constitute an infringement under the PNPV law.
However, there is a limitation to breeder's right under this Act. The limitation include any act done privately on a non-commercial basis or for an experimental purpose or any act done for the purpose of breeding other plant varieties, propagation by small farmers using harvested material of the registered plant variety planted on their own holding, exchange of reasonable amount of propagating materials among small farmers and the sale of farm-saved seeds in situations where non-usage is beyond the control of the farmer.
The person who may apply for registration of new plant variety and grant a breeder's right are a breeder, the employer of the breeder, the successor in the title of the breeder, a farmer or group of farmers, local community or indigenous people who have carried out the functions of a breeder and any government or statutory body which has carried out the functions of a breeder. However, if the applicant's ordinary residence or principal place of business is outside Malaysia or if the applicant is a group of farmers, the applicant should appoint an agent who is a resident or who has a registered office in Malaysia. Besides that, if the applicant is a local community or an indigenous people, the authority representing the local community or indigenous people shall be the agent.
The condition for registration of new plant varieties and the granting of breeder's right is that the plant variety is new, distinct, uniform and stable. Notwithstanding, where a plant variety is bred, or discovered and developed by farmers, local community or indigenous people, the plant may be registered as a new plant variety and granted a breeder's right if the plant variety is new, distinct and identifiable.
The plant variety is new if on the filling date of application for registration and grant of a breeder's right the propagating or harvested material has not been sold or otherwise disposed off on a commercial basis by or with the consent of the breeder earlier than one year within Malaysia, and in other countries, are earlier than six years in respect of trees and vines and earlier than four years in respect of other plant varieties.