Policy ForumIntellectual Property

Plants and Intellectual Property: An International Appraisal

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Science  19 Nov 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5700, pp. 1295-1297
DOI: 10.1126/science.1106760

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Much of the debate on the implications of intellectual property (IP) for protecting plant varieties occurs in the absence of an understanding of the specifics of the rights in particular jurisdictions, a practical sense of the rights claimed or granted, and their evolution over time. Moreover, existing information highlights rich-country developments, with little attention to developing countries. This Policy Forum reviews the approaches to plant-related IP protection worldwide, with data on the applications of plant breeders' rights, and discusses possible implications of IP protection for food production and human health.