Sowing the Seeds of Protection

25 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2014

See all articles by Elizabeth I. Winston

Elizabeth I. Winston

Catholic University of America (CUA) - Columbus School of Law

Date Written: October 6, 2014


Seeds are chattel. As such, seeds are protectable by the same tapestry of public and private ordering as other forms of chattel. However, the distinguishing characteristic of seeds, their method of propagation, and the history of seeds — traditionally viewed as a public good rather than chattel — distort that tapestry. The model of seed distribution thus needs to be reframed in light of the often disparate interests of innovators, producers, and consumers. As with all chattel, there is no single, correct model for distributing seeds, but law and contract may be woven together to strike a balance.

Suggested Citation

Winston, Elizabeth I., Sowing the Seeds of Protection (October 6, 2014). Wisconsin Law Review, Vol. 2014, 2014, Available at SSRN:

Elizabeth I. Winston (Contact Author)

Catholic University of America (CUA) - Columbus School of Law ( email )

3600 John McCormack Rd., NE
Washington, DC 20064
United States

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