Intellectual Property Rights and Agricultural Productivity - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

1 / 22
About This Presentation
Title:

Intellectual Property Rights and Agricultural Productivity

Description:

Intellectual Property Rights and Agricultural Productivity Victor Mosoti Legal Officer Development Law Service FAO Legal Office Objectives What are IPRs? – PowerPoint PPT presentation

Number of Views:615
Avg rating:3.0/5.0
Slides: 23
Provided by: MosotiVi3
Category:

less

Transcript and Presenter's Notes

Title: Intellectual Property Rights and Agricultural Productivity


1
Intellectual Property Rights and Agricultural
Productivity
  • Victor Mosoti
  • Legal Officer
  • Development Law Service
  • FAO Legal Office

2
Objectives
  • What are IPRs?
  • Which IPRs impact on agriculture and food
    security?
  • What legal instruments regulate IPRs? Focus on
    TRIPs, UPOV, CBD and ITPGRFA?
  • What are the implementation issues in IPRs?

3
Introduction
  • Needless to emphasize agriculture is important
    for food, incomes, employment etc.
  • High agricultural productivity impacts on prices
    and overall economic growth.
  • Agricultural productivity in turn depends on
  • changes in science and technology innovation
  • The capacity of relevant institutions

4
What are IPRs.?
  • IPRs simply a means for protecting or rewarding
    creativity and innovation
  • Note its a way for inventors to recoup costs!
  • IPRs create a challenge the balancing of private
    interests and public interests.
  • Note balancing the two is the objective of
    national IPR legislation.
  • in general terms, debate is between gene-rich
    but technologically poor South against the
    gene-poor but technologically rich North.

5
IPRs and agricultural innovation
  • Developed countries scientific and technological
    advancements led to the industrial and
    agricultural revolutions
  • Note Most research done by individual/private
    sector players
  • Developing countries most agricultural
    innovation occurred traditionally at the
    farm-level through
  • on-farm experiments
  • selection and adaptation
  • and purposive breeding by crossing plant
    varieties
  • Note formal research done by national research
    institutions with support from CGIARs system.
  • Result Both formal and informal innovation have
    led to new or improved crop varieties hence a
    positive impact on productivity, nutritional
    levels and food

6
Research challenges and the need to address them
  • Private sector research driven by market forces.
    Much of it does not benefit poor farmers.
  • Public sector research investment by governments
    has declined significantly (while rising in the
    private sector)leaving dominance to private
    players.
  • Biotechnology has expanded the possibilities of
    what may be achieved through research (SOFA,
    2004).

7
The nature of the tension between PBRs and
Farmers Rights
  • Plant breeders keen to make some profit from
    their research research investment.
  • Like other IPRs PBRs are an incentive to
    breeders.
  • Farmers have traditionally replanted, exchanged
    or locally sold seeds from previous seasons.
  • Note poor farmers do not buy seed every season
  • Note breeders are not able to recoup their
    investment
  • IPRs (Patents and PBRs) normally impose
    restrictions on farmers ability to replant,
    exchange or sell seed.

8
The nature of the tension between PBRs and
Farmers Rights
  • In turn, these restrictions have a potentially
    negative impact on
  • Rural livelihoods and food security
  • Benefits both to producers and consumers
  • Future research prospects

9
How does the WTO come in?
  • TRIPs Agreement (Article 27.3(b) requires WTO
  • Members to protect plant varieties.
  • Members may exclude from patentability plants
    and animals other than micro-organisms, and
    essentially, biological processes for the
    production of plants or animals other than
    non-biological and microbiological processes.
    However, Members shall provide for the protection
    of plant varieties either by patents or by
    effective sui generis systems or by any
    combination thereof.

10
Traditional knowledgean unresolved issue
  • PBRs are geared towards encouraging plant
    breeders and to confer an economic benefit based
    on their investment.
  • Traditional farming communities conducted farm
    based selection, experimentation and
    cross-breeding.
  • These practices constitute traditional
    knowledge.
  • Though not (yet) an IPR, it has raised the
    difficult question
  • Should traditional knowledge be protected or
    rewarded?

11
What are the international legal instruments to
resolve the tensions?
  • TRIPs establishes minimum standards for
    trade-related aspects of IPRs. Article 27.3(b).
  • ITPGRFA recognizes farmers rights and leaves
    its implementation to countries. Article 9.
  • UPOV protects plant breeders rights. Revised in
    1978 and 1991. Article 25.
  • CBD recognizes countries sovereignty over their
    natural resources. Article 3.

12
TRIPsjust how much flexibility for countries to
design PVP legislation?
  • TRIPs establishes minimum standards for
    trade-related aspects of IPRs. Article 27.3(b)
    requires protection of plant varieties.
  • The section gives three options for the mandatory
    protection of plant varieties
  • Patents
  • An effective sui generis system
  • Patents plus a breeders rights regime
  • effective sui generis system not definedmore
    emphasis on what a sui generis system might be.

13
How is TRIPs to implemented at the national
level?
  • Article 1(1) Members free to determine the
    appropriate method of implementing TRIPs within
    their own legal systems and practice.
  • Options of implementation
  • by short statute giving it force in a country
    but most countries opt for more comprehensive
    statute.
  • Drafting of compatible national legislation - sui
    generis system.
  • The obligations of Article 27.3(b), generally
    require the implementation of a comprehensive and
    coherent legislation.

14
Notification requirements under TRIPs
  • Article 63.2 prompt notification of laws and
    regulations addressing the subject matter of the
    agreement.
  • Plusoffer explanations on how the laws meet the
    corresponding obligations or standard.
  • Article 69 notify contact points in the
    administration for cooperation purposes.
  • Other notification requirements under the Berne
    and Rome Conventions still have to be made to the
    TRIPs Council even if already made to the
    respective conventions.

15
UPOV
  • Signed in 1961 revised in 1978 and 1991. 1978
    version closed for signature.
  • Note What is the difference between the two? the
    scope of the farmers exemption.
  • Some positive aspects
  • it provides a ready-made legal framework for
    countries
  • Developing countries with high value exports
    (flowers, fruits, vegetables) may benefit from
    protection of varieties
  • Some doubts have been expressed
  • designed with commercialized farming in mind
  • applicability to developing countries in doubt
    (CIPR, 2002)
  • criteria for PVP certification less stringent (no
    innovation)
  • requirement of uniformity-local varieties
    heterogeneous
  • hence potential loss of biodiversity.

16
TRIPs, UPOV and the farmers exception
  • Sui generis systems should allow farmers to
    re-use, exchange and sell seeds.
  • UPOV 1978 allowed re-use, selling and exchange
    of seeds
  • UPOV 1991 only allows re-use. Very stringent and
    unclear criteria on selling and local exchange.
  • TRIPs is silent on any exceptions (including the
    farmers exception - only requires countries to
    protect plant varieties.

17
UPOV
  • Signed in 1961 revised in 1978 and 1991. 1978
    version closed for signature.
  • Note What is the difference between the two? the
    scope of the farmers exemption.
  • Some positive aspects
  • it provides a ready-made legal framework for
    countries
  • Developing countries with high value exports
    (flowers, fruits, vegetables) may benefit from
    protection of varieties
  • Some negative aspects
  • designed with commercialized farming in mind
  • applicability to developing countries in doubt
    (CIPR, 2002)
  • criteria for PVP certification less stringent (no
    innovation)
  • requirement of uniformity-local varieties
    heterogeneous
  • hence potential loss of biodiversity.

18
UPOV 78, UPOV 91 and TRIPs
Scope of farmers exception UPOV 1978 UPOV 1991 TRIPs
Right to re-use seeds and plant varieties Yes Yes Silent
Right to exchange seeds and plant varieties locally Yes Almost No Silent
Rights to sell seeds and plant varieties Yes Almost No Silent
19
TRIPs, UPOV and the farmers exception
  • UPOV 1978 allowed re-use, selling and exchange
    of seeds
  • UPOV 1991 only allows re-use. Very stringent and
    unclear criteria on selling and local exchange.
  • TRIPs is silent on any exceptions (only requires
    countries to protect plant varieties).

20
and the relevant legal instruments are
  • 1983 FAO Undertaking to address the imbalance
    btn. IPRs and farmers rights. PGR as a common
    heritage.
  • 1989 Resolution 5/89 incorporated farmers rights
    into the International Undertaking.
  • 1992 CBD recognizes countries sovereignty over
    their natural resources. Article 3.
  • 2001 ITPGRFA objective facilitate access to
    PGR. recognizes farmers rights. implementation up
    to the countries themselves. Article 9.

21
ITPGRFA, access to plant genetic resources and
farmers rights
  • There are however some challenges
  • conservation of genetic resources important for
    future agricultural research.
  • access by researchers on terms that recognize
    contributing farmers in developing countries

22
Conclusions
  • Options for meeting obligations under TRIPs and
    PVP
  • UPOV-style legislation (based on UPOV78 or 91)
  • another form of sui generis legislation
  • patents on plant varieties
  • Presently little evidence that patent protection
    is really in the interests of heavily agrarian
    countries
  • Countries with potential to develop
    biotech-related industries may wish to provide
    certain types of patent protection
  • Continuing review of Art. 27.3(b) should preserve
    right of countries to
  • use sui generis regimes
  • not grant patents if they wish
  • Public sector research to be strengthened.
Write a Comment
User Comments (0)
About PowerShow.com