On 24th February 2019, changes were made to the Australian Plant Breeder’s Rights Act 1994 (Cth) (the “Act”) including the introduction of additional damages for PBR infringement (see our article here). In a positive development for international and local owners of new plant varieties, additional damages have now been awarded by the Federal Court of Australia to a PBR owner following the alleged infringement of their PBR rights.
Mountain Blue Orchards Pty Ltd (Mountain Blue) owns the PBR rights in the blueberry variety ‘Ridley 1111’ (Vaccinium hybrid). Mountain Blue brought proceedings against three respondents alleging PBR infringement. 
The first and third respondents (alleged infringers) were found to have infringed the plant breeder’s rights in the blueberry variety by acting without the licence or authority of the PBR owner including for the following actions: (i) propagating and reproducing propagating material of the variety; (ii) selling propagating material; (iii) offering propagating material for sale; (iv) producing and selling fruit harvested from the propagating material; and (v) claiming to have the right to sell propagating material and fruit harvested from the propagating material.
The Federal Court of Australia issued orders awarding AU$290,000 to the PBR owner on account of compensatory damages, additional damages, interests and costs. In addition, the respondents were ordered to undertake actions such as: (i) delivery up of the plant material in their possession custody or control; (ii) providing information about the infringing plant material including discovery of all documents relating to the growing, creation, acquisition and sale or other supply of plants and fruits of the variety.
We consider that this decision clearly reinforces the value and benefits of investing in PBR protection in Australia. We therefore encourage international and local businesses to seek PBR protection in Australia.
Disclaimer: For general information
purposes only. Not intended as legal advice. Please contact us should you
require assistance regarding your Australian Plant Breeder’s Rights portfolio
in light of this decision.
 Australian Plant Breeder’s Rights Application No. 2009/113 (Granted)
 Mountain Blue Orchards Pty Ltd ACN 068 706 650 v Jason Richard Chellew & Anor (Unreported, FCA No. QUD184/2019 Greenwood J, 11 October 2019).