Intellectual Property, Agriculture and Global Food Security
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Intellectual Property, Agriculture and Global Food Security

The Privatization of Crop Diversity

Claudio Chiarolla

This well-researched book focuses on international governance of crop diversity and agricultural innovation. It highlights the implications that the future control of food, including access to agricultural resources and technologies, might have for global food security.
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Chapter 3: Plant Intellectual Property Protection: Patents and Plant Variety Rights

Claudio Chiarolla


3.1 INTRODUCTION The main proposition of this book is that global institutional reforms governing the present and future allocation of wealth from crop diversity are insufficient—and in some respects inappropriate—to achieve international equity in terms of the way plant genetic resources are transferred, how agricultural research is conducted and its benefits are shared. A corollary of the above proposition is that strong restrictions on access to plant genetic resources may augment the technological divide between those who have reached the technological frontier and latecomers who rely on the adaptation of foreign technologies and germplasm for their domestic food needs. Thus, the distribution of the benefits that arise from the use of crop diversity depends on the institutional arrangements that govern the legal entitlements to use plant genetic resources, related information and technologies. This chapter explains how international plant-related intellectual property agreements fit together and focuses, in particular, on how the implementation of the TRIPs Agreement has served the commercial interests of technology producing and exporting countries. By doing that, it presents substantive patent standards relevant for the protection of gene-based inventions as well as sui generis plant variety rights under the UPOV Convention. At the national level, the overlap between biotechnological patents and plant variety rights is examined through a comparative study. The latter analyses US and EU plant-related IP legislation, describes the tensions between these different protection schemes and the way in which such tensions have been resolved in each jurisdiction. 75 Columns Design...

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