The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has apparently issued a 'copyright' of sorts for a specific Cannabis Sativa strain, listed as "Big C", to a Chris Griffin in Toronto, Ontario, as per an announcement on the Agency's website last week.
In Canada, the Plant Breeders' Rights Act gives you exclusive rights to new varieties of some plant species. To be protected, the varieties must fulfill certain conditions, like showing the variety is new, different from all other varieties, is uniform, and stable. The website explains that one must submit a description of it for publication in the Plant Varieties Journal. This specific application was filed December 24 of 2013. Once accepted, the holder of the claim can have exclusive rights to sell and grow the specific breed/strain for up to 18 years, as well as the right to authorize others access to this access.
This is not exclusive to Cannabis. In Canada, and many other countries, many plant species are eligible for protection. For example, the Amborisa Apple is Canada enjoys the same Breeders' Rights. A plant variety is considered 'stable' if it holds its genetic integrity through successive generations. This means that after growing new stock from seed or clone or tissue sample, the 'offspring' have the same unique genetics. Uniformity is the breed's characteristics being the same amongst numerous examples bred from the same stock. If you grow 10 different plants, for example, from the same genetic stock, they should all be uniform in appearance, etc.