Intellectual Property Rights, Trade and Biodiversity: Seeds and Plant Varieties

Earthscan
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This text examines the international agreements governing trade in genetic resources - crucial resources for world agriculture, food security and large industries such as pharmaceuticals. Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) in these resources are critical for those involved in the trade, including industry and developing countries. The book analyzes the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), World Trade Organization agreements and other agreements. It explains how they can be integrated into an equitable training regime.
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Additional information

Publisher
Earthscan
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Published on
31 Mar 2000
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Pages
240
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ISBN
9781849776233
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Language
English
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Genres
Law / Intellectual Property / General
Nature / Environmental Conservation & Protection
Science / Life Sciences / Biological Diversity
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Seller
Google Commerce Ltd
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Over the last 50 years there has been a growing appreciation of the important role that farmers play in the development and conservation of crop genetic diversity, and the contribution of that diversity to agro-ecosystem resilience and food security. This book examines policies that aim to increase the share of benefits that farmers receive when others use the crop varieties that they have developed and managed, i.e., ‘farmers varieties’. In so doing, the book addresses two fundamental questions. The first question is ‘how do farmer management practices – along with other factors such as environment and the breeding systems of plants – affect the evolution and maintenance of discrete farmers’ varieties?’ The second question is ‘how can policies that depend on being able to identify discrete plant varieties accommodate the agricultural realities associated with the generation, use and maintenance of farmers’ varieties?’ This focus on discreteness is topical because there are no fixed, internationally recognized taxonomic or legal definitions of farmers’ varieties. And that presents a challenge when developing policies that involve making specific, discrete farmers’ varieties the subject of legal rights or privileges.

The book includes contributions from a wide range of experts including agronomists, anthropologists, geneticists, biologists, plant breeders, lawyers, development practitioners, activists and farmers. It includes case studies from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe where, in response to a diversity of contributing factors, there have been efforts to develop policies that provide incentives or rewards to farmers as stewards of farmers’ varieties in ways that are sensitive to the cultural, taxonomic and legal complexities involved. The book situates these initiatives in the context of the evolving discourse and definition of ‘farmers' rights’, presenting insights for future policy initiatives.

With reference to China, this book examines the course of international patent rights harmonisation; its characteristics as well as impediments. It evaluates the case of China’s patent law development over the course of the last three decades by drawing on the most up-to-date Chinese language sources. In the process, the volume focuses on China’s patent legislation, its achievements and weaknesses, as well as the intrinsic limitations, especially as far as enforcement is concerned. The author pays close attention to the unique societal background in China, a country that did not provide constitutional recognition to private property rights until 2004 and where a property law entered into force as late as 2013, 30 years after the first promulgation of the patent law.

Global trade policy makers, IP professionals and businesses will benefit from the insights presented by the chapters as they will help them to appreciate the achievements and the controversies pursuant to China’s efforts in patent protection. While serving as a useful case study for countries seeking to leverage patent protection as a driver for economic development, the book will equally facilitate Chinese legislature to reflect on its patent legislation development, specifically on legislative policy choices.

An additional analytical strength of the volume is that it compares the Chinese patent legislation with the American Invents Act and the European Patent Convention. It discovers the differences between the three patent legislations by using the minimum patent protection standards set down by the TRIPS Agreement as the benchmark. The results of the comparisons suggest that China has successfully harmonised its patent legislation with the global patent protection system, and often opts for higher patent protection standards. The book also considers whether China could learn lessons from Japan and India in their respective patent legislation and policy choices.

With China undertaking a fourth patent law amendment, the provisions contained in the second draft of the Patent Law 2015, which was published in December 2015, are included in the analysis.

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