Trade and Intellectual Property Rights in the Agricultural Seed Sector

Centre for International Environmental Studies Research Paper No. 20/2013

57 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2013

Date Written: July 25, 2013

Abstract

The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) has continued to be fiercely debated between North and South, particularly with respect to its provisions for the agricultural sector. Article 27.3(b) of the TRIPS Agreement requires WTO member countries to offer some form of intellectual property protection for new plant varieties, either in the form of patents (common in the U.S.) or plant breeder's rights (PBR). This paper analyzes the effects of the introduction of PBRs in almost 80 importing countries on the value of exports of agricultural seeds and planting material from 10 exporting EU countries, including all principal traditional exporters of seeds, as well as the US. A dynamic penalized fixed effects quantile regression model, based on a general specification for the gravity model for international trade, is estimated using panel data covering 19 years (1989-2007) of export flows in order to assess the effect of International Convention on the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) membership on seed imports. Basing inference on the panel bootstrap, we find no significant effect from UPOV membership on seed imports.

Keywords: agriculture, inputs, trade, intellectual property rights

JEL Classification: F13, O34, Q17

Suggested Citation

Eaton, Derek, Trade and Intellectual Property Rights in the Agricultural Seed Sector (July 25, 2013). Centre for International Environmental Studies Research Paper No. 20/2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2323595 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2323595

Derek Eaton (Contact Author)

Smart Prosperity Institute ( email )

2292 Edwin Crescent
Ottawa, Ontario K2C 1H7
Canada

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