Title

Does Plant Variety Protection Contribute to Crop Productivity? Lessons for Developing Countries from US Wheat Breeding

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2009

Keywords

plant variety protection; crop productivity; developing countries

Abstract

The application of intellectual property rights (IP) in developing countries is and remains highly controversial, particularly as regards applications to food/agriculture, and pharmaceuticals, which have direct ramifications for large numbers of peoples. One dimension complicating a reasoned dialogue on the public benefits of IP, particularly when many developing countries are implementing the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) as mandated by membership in the World Trade Organization, is a dearth of information on their actual operation and effects. In this study, we address one particular aspect of the limited documentation on the effects of IP systems, the effect of plant variety protection (PVP) on the genetic productivity potential of varieties. Specifically, we examine wheat varieties in Washington State, United States, which are produced by both public and private sector breeders. Results from the study show that implementation of PVP attracted private investment in open pollinated crops such as wheat in the United States and provided greater numbers of varieties of these crops, which are high yielding from both the public and private sectors. These results may provide some insights for policy makers from developing countries on the effects of IP for plants as their TRIPS commitments are being implemented.

Publication Title

Journal of World Intellectual Property

Volume

12

Issue

2

First Page

137

Last Page

152

DOI of Published Version

10.1111/j.1747-1796.2009.00354.x

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