Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

A Man of Flowers: A Reflection on Plant Patents, the Right to Food and Competition Law

TECHNOLOGY AND COMPETITION, pp. 355-372, J. Drexl, et al., ed., Larcier, 2009

10 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2010  

Geertrui Van Overwalle

KU Leuven - Centre for IT & IP Law (CiTiP)

Date Written: December 2, 2010

Abstract

The present paper explores the multi-layered relationship between plant patents, the right to food and competition law. The present contribution takes the view that the growing tendency to appropriate agricultural crops through intellectual property (IP) – thereby making a pivotal shift from plant breeder’s rights to patents – has possibly led to hampering effects on the access to food by poor and disadvantaged groups, particularly in low-income countries. Human rights, in particular the right to food, might act as a welcome instrument to restore the balance between the private demand for a fair reward and the public interest in sustainable food supply. However, when making a human rights approach more exacting, and when translating the right to food into IP mechanisms facilitating access to food, competition law might come into play, adding a layer of complexity and uncertainty to this delicate balancing act.

Keywords: Patent Law, Plant Patent Act, Plant Breeder's Rights, Plant Variety Protection Act, TRIPs Agreement, Agricultural Biotechnology, Golden Rice, Human Rights, Right to Food, Competition Law, SUMCOL, Patent Pool, Clearinghouse, Open Source, Liability Regime

JEL Classification: D23, D45, H1, H51, I18, K11, L14, L4, L65, O13, O31, O32, O34

Suggested Citation

Van Overwalle, Geertrui, A Man of Flowers: A Reflection on Plant Patents, the Right to Food and Competition Law (December 2, 2010). TECHNOLOGY AND COMPETITION, pp. 355-372, J. Drexl, et al., ed., Larcier, 2009 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1719260

Geertrui Van Overwalle (Contact Author)

KU Leuven - Centre for IT & IP Law (CiTiP) ( email )

Sint-Michielsstraat 6 box 3443
Leuven, 3000
Belgium

HOME PAGE: https://www.law.kuleuven.be/citip/en/staff/00015469

Paper statistics

Downloads
182
Rank
139,261
Abstract Views
830