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Intellectual property rights in plant breeding and biotechnology. Assessing impact on the Indian seed industry

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The enactment of Intellectual Property Rights legislation and its enforcement are two distinct tasks, and the latter requires development of institutional capacity. The impact of IPRs should be seen in conjunction with economic policies and other regulations like seed and biosafety rules, which are also important for the growth and diversification of the Indian seed industry. This paper examines the implications of the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act of 2001. The expected impacts on plant breeding priorities, relations of public research with private seed companies and farmers, transfer of technologies by multinationals and seed prices are also discussed. It suggests that the public sector should learn to manage its IPRs to strike a balance between the efficiency and equity objectives.

S. Pal, R. Tripp and N.P. Louwaars