Latest Guiding Cases issued by the Supreme People’s Court Involving Infringement on New Plant Variety Rights

March 17, 2018

Recently, the Supreme People's Court released the 17th batch of five guiding cases, including one related to intellectual property rights.


Guiding Case No. 92 "Laizhou Jinhai Seeds Co., Ltd. vs. Zhangye Fukai Agricultural Science and Technology Co., Ltd. Dispute over infringement of New Plant Variety Rights " aims to define the determination of approximate varieties. According to the agricultural industry standard NY/T1432-2007 "Maize Variety Identification Molecular Techniques”, when the number of different loci between two varieties is 1, they shall be considered as approximate varieties; greater than or equal to 2, different varieties. If the number of different loci equals 1, it is insufficient to determine whether they are the same varieties. For those with number of different loci below 2, other factors shall be taken into consideration to determine whether they are different varieties, such as conducting test on expanded range of loci, or submitting validated sample for testing. The burden of proof is borne by the party who are alleged as infringing.  It is of great value in guiding the people’s courts in proper application of the burden of proof rules, and the trial of similar cases in the field of new plant variety rights. 


(Source: Supreme People's Court)