Analysis of Article 27(3) (b) of TRIPs-the Content and Implications of the IP Protection on Plant Varieties
- 1 WB National University of Juridical Sciences, India
Problem statement: Introduction of Intellectual Property Protection (IPP) to plant varieties has gone through some rough weather with objections being made not only with respect to their introduction but also with the type of protection to be accorded to the new varieties. Article 27(3)(b) of the TRIPs Agreement contains a lot of flexibilities as it allows WTO member states to choose the form of intellectual property protection and also the strength of IP protection. However, one of the primary effects of the provision is that it has forced a good number of the nations across the world to accord IPP to plant varieties where there existed none. The primary rationale given for the introduction of IPP in biotechnology is that it shall incentivise research in biotechnology which in turn shall help nations in building its food security. Conclusion: The study seeks to show that though the rationale has stood true to a good extent (as a lot of new plant varieties have been created by plant breeders in the past few decades that carry special traits resulting in an increase in the agricultural output and the quality of the produce). However, the research in plant varieties is often restricted to only a few crops that are commercially the most viable, hence, showing no change in the pattern of investment in the plant varieties even after the introduction of IPP. Moreover, after the introduction of Article 27(3) (b) (according of IPP to plant varieties and limiting the scope of imitation) there has seen large scale concentration and restructuring of the seeds industry all across the world. Further, the gradual substitution of traditional varieties by the modified plant varieties has also surfaced a whole host of other economic and environmental problems. These problems and holes in the incentive rationale thus justifies the counter measures taken by many nations such as farmer’s rights, origin disclosure requirements, incentivizing the use of traditional varieties by farmers, creation of seed’s banks, free exchange of germplasm.
Copyright: © 2009 Pratyush Jhunjhunwala. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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- Plant variety protection
- food security
- farmer's rights
- gene erosion