Why bother about protection of plant varieties?
One of the most fascinating and valuable facts in life is men’s ability to modify nature & adapt it for the benefit of humanity. Plant breeding is the best example where humans have succeeded in turning wild and unedible plants into domesticated and edible varieties. Today, these varieties are found daily in our tables, nurture us & help us to be healthy & fit. Plant variety production is also key to solving problems of food security. But modern plant varieties are not freely accessible. They are usually protected by intellectual property rights (mostly by patents and plant breeder’s rights), which may promote food security or insecurity and affect industrial sectors such as pharmaceuticals, textiles, and forestry. The challenge is to find an appropriate legal framework that balances all stakeholders’ interest in pursue of societal welfare. Isn’t this a good reason to care about a topic that makes a real difference in people’s lives?
Do we need a blog?
“Plant variety protection”! Nice terms. But what do they mean? Although known to biologists, plant scientists, plant breeders and few lawyers working in the field, legal academics do not hear these words very often. Recently, however, awareness on the topic has increased. The expansion of intellectual property rights on plant varieties all over the world might be one reason. Some universities have started to offer specialized courses on plant breeder’s rights and research on PVP is increasing. Yet the subject needs more students and researchers with a better understanding of the legal protection of the genetic wealth embedded in the seed. Indeed, the ideal knowledgeable person on PVP would be the one that combines, scientific, business, and legal skills. Since this type of person is not commonly found, why not offer a blog that creates the opportunity to share and enrich our knowledge? A blog tears down physical boundaries and allows everyone to contribute.