Product Quality Standards

IP Australia recognises that the services it provides must comply with the requirements of the Plant Breeder’s Rights (PBR) Act, and meet the expectations of its customers. To ensure that customers' expectations are met, a set of quality standards for PBR examination have been developed using feedback from our customers and in consultation with our staff.

The quality standards apply to all aspects of examination carried out by IP Australia.  They provide us with benchmarks against which to assess the quality of these aspects of the examination process. Achieving the standards for PBR examination will ensure that the resulting registrations are entitled to a presumption of validity which also meets the customer's expectations.

The quality standards support IP Australia's commitment to providing high quality PBR regulatory services for the benefit of Australia. These standards will be continually refined in light of experience and comments from our customers.

The Product Quality Standards (PQS) are categorised according to the extent to which they affect the validity of the IP Right. By categorising the PQS under different tiers, a scale of significance has been applied to each component of work, whereby searching and raising objections relating to the validity of an IP Right are most important. Each Standard has attributes that have been grouped together to allow an assessment of compliance to that Standard. The overall quality of a product is defined by one or more PQS depending on the nature of the product.

Tier 1 category (i.e. critical) includes PQS that relate to matters which would adversely affect (or have the potential to affect) the validity of the IP Right.

Tier 2 category (i.e. moderate) includes PQS that relate to matters which would require a considerable amount of rework and/or inconvenience to the owner or IP Australia.

Tier 3 category (i.e. minor) includes PQS that relate to matters which are important in terms of quality of the product.

The Product Quality Standards are to  be read in consideration with the practices and procedures detailed in the Plant Breeder’s Rights Examiner’s Manual.

The Product Quality Standards do not define practices and procedures. The Plant Breeder’s Rights Examiner’s Manual details practices and procedures and the Standards assess adherence to those practices and procedures.

For a product to comply with a Standard, it must comply with all the relevant attributes defined for that Standard. Conversely, if the product does not meet the requirements of the Quality Standards against at least one of the attributes, it will be deemed not to conform to that Standard.

The Product Quality Standards will be reviewed regularly and/or updated as required in order to reflect the appropriate product quality attributes. A printer-friendly A3-sized approved version of the PQS can be found by clicking on the heading below.

Product Quality Standards (Printable Word Version).

Tier 1

 

PQS 1 - Correct search and research strategies are adopted

PQS 2 - All relevant deficiencies are identified

Tier 2

 

PQS 3 - Reports are comprehensive and informative

PQS 4 - Reports are free of invalid deficiencies

Tier 3

 

PQS 5 - Written formalities are complete and correct

The test of reasonableness will apply - see instructions.

NOTE:

1.

All relevant Standards apply to all reports at all stages of prosecution. New relevant deficiencies must be raised in further reports if those relevant deficiencies were missed in a previous report, or if the circumstances have changed.

 

TIER 1: includes Product Quality Standards (PQS) that relate to matters which would adversely affect (or have the potential to affect) the validity of the IP Right

PQS 1 - Correct search and research strategies are adopted

1.1

A correct search strategy is one that is conducted in the most effective and efficient way while ensuring a high probability of finding any relevant results

 

1.1.1

Identify prior applications for the same variety for eligibility, priority and denomination purposes (s30, s28, s27).

 

1.1.2

Identify any relevant unacceptable or conflicting varietal denominations, synonyms or trademarks (s27).

 

1.1.3

Identify relevant taxon and UPOV class (s42, s43).

 

1.1.4

Identify relevant Technical Guideline/National Descriptor.

1.2

Append their searches to the file

1.3

Annotate their search/research where appropriate

PQS 2 - All relevant deficiencies are identified

2.1

s30 Acceptance or rejection of an application

 

2.1.1

Applicant has indicated they are entitled to make the application and, if not the breeder (or breeder’s employer), have provided evidence of the assignment, the will or the operation of law giving the right to make the application.

 

2.1.2

Application complies with the form of the application (s26).

 

 

2.1.2.1

Denomination/synonym is acceptable.

 

 

2.1.2.2

QP is accredited.

 

2.1.3

Application establishes a prima facie case for distinctness.

2.2

Actions prior to Grant

 

2.2.1

Variety not exploited or only recently exploited.

 

2.2.2

Appropriate comparators identified and adequately documented.

2.3

s44 Grant of an application

 

2.3.1

A detailed description based on growing trial, in either Australia or other country according to UPOV technical requirements, has been submitted and published and the mandatory 6-month period of public exposure has elapsed.

 

2.3.2

The variety is registrable in accordance with s43, including requirements that:

 

 

2.3.2.1

The variety is distinct.

 

 

2.3.2.2

The variety is uniform.

 

 

2.3.2.3

The variety is stable.

 

2.3.3

Grant of PBR is not prohibited in accordance with s42.

 

2.3.4

The Australian right has not been granted to another person.

 

2.3.5

Material of the variety is deposited in a genetic resource centre.

 

2.3.6

If required, variety has been supplied to a herbarium.

2.4

Variation of application

 

2.4.1

s31 requests for variation of application in relation to technical matters.

 

TIER 2: includes Product Quality Standards (PQS) that relate to matters which would require a considerable amount of rework and/or inconvenience to the owner or IP Australia.

PQS 3 – Reports are comprehensive and informative

3.1

Provide reasoning in relation to deficiencies raised

3.2

Be written in plain English appropriate to the context

3.3

Use the relevant word processing paragraphs and format, where appropriate

3.4

Be structured with appropriate headings and subheadings

3.5

Give appropriate options

3.6

In addition to the above, further reports will address relevant outstanding matters (including where the comparative trial has not established DUS), and acknowledge, and respond appropriately to, all relevant submissions

PQS 4 – Reports are free of invalid deficiencies

4.1

s30 Acceptance or rejection of an application

 

4.1.1

Applicant is entitled to make the application.

 

4.1.2

Application complies with the form of the application (s26).

 

 

4.1.2.1

Denomination/synonym is acceptable.

 

 

4.1.2.2

QP is accredited.

 

4.1.3

Application establishes a prima facie case for distinctness.

4.2

Actions prior to Grant

 

4.2.1

Variety not exploited or only recently exploited.

 

4.2.2

Appropriate comparators identified and adequately documented.

4.3

s44 Grant of an application

 

4.3.1

A detailed description based on a growing trial, in either Australia or other country according to UPOV technical requirements, has been submitted and published and the mandatory 6-month period of public exposure has elapsed.

 

4.3.2

The variety is registrable in accordance with s43, including requirements that:

 

 

4.3.2.1

The variety is distinct.

 

 

4.3.2.2

The variety is uniform.

 

 

4.3.2.3

The variety is stable.

 

4.3.3

Grant of PBR is not prohibited in accordance with s42.

 

4.3.4

The Australian right has not been granted to another person.

 

4.3.5

Material of the variety is deposited in a genetic resource centre.

 

4.3.6

If required, variety has been supplied to a herbarium.

4.4

Variation of application

 

4.4.1

s31 requests for variation of application in relation to technical matters.

 

TIER 3: includes Product Quality Standards (PQS) that relate to matters which are important in terms of quality of the product.

PQS 5 - Written formalities are complete and correct

5.1

Reports are presented professionally

 

5.1.1

Reports are free from frequent or serious spelling or grammatical mistakes.

 

5.1.2

Reports are free from inconsistencies.

 

5.1.3

Format and details of the report are correct.

5.2

Forms and database filled out correctly

 

5.2.1

PBR database(s) and acceptance and grant check lists are filled out appropriately.

 

5.2.2

Field Examination Reports are completed appropriately.

 

5.2.3

Decisions regarding the requirement for field examination are fully supported by a prescribed risk assessment.