Barry Meyers-Rice (barry@as.arizona.edu)
Fri, 6 May 94 09:49:12 MST

Wow. I just got in the mail an ``Express Post International'' from
Richard Davion. Enclosed in the bulging packet were several items.

In case you don't recall, or didn't read his recent emailing, Richard
Davion has been concerned with and involved in this recent matter of the
all-red VFT, and plant variety rights (PVR) that may be assigned to an
australian grower.

Included in the packet is the 54 page Plant Variety Rights Act of 1987,
which reads as you'd expect (e.g. Where, in proceedings for an offence against
subsection (1) or (2) in respect....etc etc), as well as the mercifully
shorter PVR regulations. I'm going to look through this act, and then
mail it on to the next person that contacts me about this. Any takers?

Richard also sent to me a plastic template of Australia, 15 cm across.
Complete with holes in it so so can mark the boundaries between states and
territories. Richard, why did you send me this? Is this referred to in the
PVR Act?

In an accompanying letter, Richard makes some interesting clarifications.
Complete news to me is that this all-red VFT is much more red than I thought.
Apparently the entire plant is suffused to some degree with anthocyanin.
So, not just the traps, but the petioles are also red. This is very
interesting. Up until now, when I have read people talking about all-red
VFTs, etc., I thought they were talking only about the traps! Has anyone
out there in electron-land ever seen these VFTs with red petioles? I'm going
to ask around... Richard tells me he is sending another letter which I
should get very soon.

This matter baffles me. The act states that a ``new plant variety'' must
meet 4 qualifications. Two of them are,

``new plant variety'' means a plant variety that:

(a)was originated by a person;
(d)is distinguishable by one or more important morphological, physiological
or other characteristics from all other plant varieties whose existence was
a matter of common knowledge at the time when the application in respect of
the variety was made;

Point (d) addresses the concern that strains already in cultivation or
in the wild can be locked up with a PVR. For example, no one could get a
PVR on a subspecies or colour form of Sarr, unless that colour form was
created by the person (for example, I cross breed different S.flava---if
I selected one I suppose PVR's could be taken out for that clone).

Point (a) is relevent to this matter, I think. *IF* the only place that
these two red-petioled clones of VFT came from Kane's lab, then perhaps
PVR is legal (even though PVR were requested after this plant has gone into
wide cultivation?), but what I'm curious about is where did these seeds
come from in the first place? Just germinating seed does not constitute
originating a plant, surely!