The New Zealand equivalent of US Patents, more or less.
[From the web page of the New Zealand Plant Variety Rights office, http://www.pvr.govt.nz, "Who We Are":] A grant of Plant Variety Rights gives the breeder the exclusive right to sell seed or reproductive material of the new variety, or he may licence others to do this. The breeder is also entitled to collect royalties on sales of seed or reproductive material.
The development of a new variety is frequently a long and costly undertaking. By allowing the breeder to control the commercialisation of the variety, Plant Variety Rights gives the breeder a chance to recoup costs and profit from the breeding investment. Without the legal protection of Rights the breeder can very soon lose control of the commercialisation of the new variety to persons who had not contributed towards the breeding costs.
By providing an incentive to breedrs, Plant Variety Rights encourages investment and effort into plant breeding in New Zealand. The Rights scheme also allows New Zealanders access to overseas-bred varieties which would not be released here by their breeders without the protection of the legislation. The result is that farmers, horticultural producers and home gardeners gain access to an increased number and range of improved varieties. Thus Plant Variety Rights benefit not only plant breeders but also the public generally. [Please see the Plant Variety Rights page for more information,]