Are Plant Breeder’s Rights Outdated? A Descriptive and Empirical Assessment of Plant Breeder’s Rights in Australia, 1987–2007
18 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2009
Date Written: 2008
Taking the Plant Breeder’s Rights Act 1994 (CTH) as its focus, this article explores the notion that plant breeder’s rights are out-of-date and unnecessary. To do so, this article adopts both descriptive and empirical approaches to examining a number of issues including: the nature of, and investment in, Australian plant breeding; biopiracy and enforcement; legal disputes and processes; and the use of the Australian plant breeder’s rights system. This review shows that the Australian plant breeder’s rights scheme is well used, has been progressively amended and extended, and is just one element in a suite of measures geared to stimulate plant-related innovation. As a consequence, future research needs to take into account the heterogeneous character of plant breeding and complementary government initiatives, identify the many reasons why the plant breeder’s rights scheme is seen as viable (or why not) and consider the interrelationships between these elements.
Keywords: Plant Breeder’s Rights Act 1994, breeder’s rights, biopiracy enforcement, plant intellectual property, agriculture
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