Summary Morocco is member of the UPOV Convention and as per the TRIPS Agreement that underlines - under the ADPIC agreement - the obligation of protecting intellectual property rights of inventors including breeders, Morocco has adopted Law 9-94 on the protection of plant varieties which was promulgated by the Royal decree No 1.96.255 issued on January 21st, 1997.
According to the Moroccan national law, the protection concerns varieties belonging to a list of kinds and species determined by the Ministry of Agriculture. This decision determines as well, for every specie, the duration of the protection and the elements concerned by the right of the breeder. Currently, more than 80 species are protectable in Morocco, and are divided in three categories:
Group A : Cereals, vegetables, fodder cultures, industrial cultures, flora and ornamental species, potatoes and strawberry plants.
Group B : Arboricultural and vine species
Group C : Other plant variety plants.
The deadline for filing a plant variety application is SIX YEARS from the first commercialisation of the varieties outside Morocco and ONE YEAR from the first commercialisation in Morocco for arboricultural and vine species.
Service de Controle des Semences et Plants is the Authority in charge of the protection of plant variety rights in Morocco which recommend the variety to be already protected abroad, in order to facilitate the national procedures.
In order to proceed with the registration of the above plant variety with Service de Controle des Semences et Plants in Morocco, the following is needed:
- Whether the subject variety has been already examined with any authority in charge of examination of plant varieties. In the affirmative, the exam result is a mandatory requirement to be submitted to Service de Controle des Semences et Plants and only exam result will be chargeable.
- The forms A, B & C in French language are to be filled by the breeders with the exception of any other spaces that are reserved to the Administration. The forms should be signed and stamped.
Please be informed that the form B depends on the plant variety to be protected. Accordingly the related form is provided upon receipt of instructions regarding the variety to be protected.
- Please be advised that the priority document as well as the priority assignment document simply signed by the breeders evidencing the assignment of the subject variety to the current owner will be needed (if priority is to be claimed) along with an original power of attorney signed and stamped in the name of the applicant.
- Kindly note that according to the Moroccan PVP law, plant materials should be submitted to the Moroccan PVP office. However, before you send any plant materials, your have to inform us of the same in order to obtain an authorization from the Administration of Quality Control in charge of the importation of plants in Morocco.
Kindly note that once the application for the protection of a plant variety is filed before the Moroccan PVP office, it is published in the official bulletin and there are three months as of the publication date for any interested party to present a written observation against the published plant, and in case no claim was filed against the same it takes five to six months for the certificate to be issued.
Concerning the commercialization of the plant variety, it is necessary that the plant is protected in order to obtain the required authorization for importing and commercializing the same in the Moroccan territory.
Kindly note that ALL plant varieties included in the species protectable in Morocco CAN NOT BE FILED AS CONVENTION APPLICATIONS (under the normal patent procedures with the Moroccan Patent Office). Thus, claims directed to methods of breeding plants can not be protected as patents BUT rather as plant varieties with Service de Controle des Semences et Plants.