The original breeder or his successor in title may obtain a registered property right for plant varieties which are distinguishable, homogenous, persistent and novel. The period of protection of vines and woody plants is 30 years, and 25 years for all other varieties.
Austrian Plant Variety Protection
The application has to be filed with the Plant Variety Office (Federal Institute for Plant Cultivation).
At present protection is limited to 13 varieties. The Federal Minister of Agriculture and Forestry is responsible for decisions on appeals against decisions of the Variety Office.
All other proceedings (declaration of nullity, etc.) pursuant to the plant variety law which largely conforms to patent law have to be brought before the Austrian Patent Office or the Supreme Patents and Trademarks Board.
Community Plant Variety Protection
After a filing and examination procedure at the Community Variety Office Community variety protection may be obtained for the entire territory of the European Union.
Varieties of all botanical genuses and species, among others also hybrids between genuses or species, may enjoy Community variety protection.
The procedure before the Community Variety Office is similar in material and formal respects to that concerning patents before the European Patent Office.