Sui generis protection for plant varieties and traditional agricultural knowledge: the example of India

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For many years, plant variety protection has been only on the fringes of intellectual property protection. However, the Community Plant Variety Regulation for the European Union (EU) and, for developing countries in particular, the requirement to introduce either patent and/or sui generis legislation for plant varieties under Article 27.3(b) of the WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) have strengthened the position of plant varieties within the intellectual property system. In developing countries with a strong traditional farming sector, these developments have been controversial. This article will examine the example of India. India is at the crossroads regarding its intellectual property policies for the biotechnology sector. The aim of the Indian Government to balance conflicting concerns for the agricultural sector have found expression in the title of its plant variety legislation, the Plant Variety Protection and Farmers’ Rights Act of 2001. Before turning to an examination of this legislation, however, the impact of the amendments to the Indian Patents Act on biotechnology in general and agricultural biotechnology in particular needs to be discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)480-485
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Intellectual Property Review
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

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