Keywords: crop biotechnology, patents, plant breeders rights, TRIPS, monopolisation, intellectual property rights, genetically modified crops, GM crops, developing countries, genetic modification, development, commercialisation, staple crops, incentives, innovation, market structure, agricultural biosciences, agricultural biotechnology
The evolving rights to intellectual property protection in the agricultural biosciences
Pressures from the USA and Europe have resulted in the proliferation of stronger intellectual property protection worldwide, as a condition for continued access to world markets. The failure of crops other than soybeans, cotton, maize and canola in developed countries to benefit from the major innovations in genetic modification raises questions regarding the implications of increased intellectual property protection for development and commercialisation of staple crops for developing countries. In this paper, we review important IP-related developments relevant to the evolution of crop biotechnologies, highlighting their origins and goals, and their implications for incentives, innovation, and the structure of the crop biotechnology markets.