Has India Addressed Its Farmers' Woes? A Story of Plant Protection Issues
Georgetown International Environmental Law Review, Vol. 20, No. 97, 2007
31 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2011
Date Written: January 18, 2011
The paper examines issues relating to establishing breeders rights in developing nations by taking India as an example. At the outset, the paper examines the international obligations relating to protecting plant breeder’s rights by examining the requirements under Article 27.3 of the TRIPS agreement. In doing so, the paper examines analyzes what amounts to an effective sui generis system as required under TRIPS.
Further, the paper analyzes the constituents of the models currently touted by developed nations and outlined under the Union for Plant Variety Protection (UPOV, 1991) to determine the model’s ability to fulfill the TRIPS requirement. In determining the question of whether UPOV embodies the efficiency required to become the sui generis system under TRIPS, the paper examines UPOV’s ability to address unique needs of the developing world. Finally, the paper details the Plant Variety Protection and Farmer’s Rights Act, 2001 of India and compares it with UPOV. The paper concludes that the Indian model is best suited for nations whose objectives for introducing plant breeders rights are not limited to just protecting breeders’ rights but includes biodiversity conservation, farmer’s rights and welfare issues are part of the agenda.
The paper's highlight is in: a) discussing, in depth, the constituents of an effective sui generis system. Paul Heald of the University of Georgia has done some work on attempting to appreciate the ramifications of the term effective. Otherwise, there are no other significant contributions to this line of work; b) providing a detailed critical overview of the Indian legislation discussing plant variety protection.
Keywords: India, Plant Breeder's Rights, UPOV, TRIPS, sui generis model
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