The Role of Public Interest in Plant-Related Patents: A European Perspective
This paper is an English version of a chapter in the book "Biopatente: Saatgut als Ware und als öffentliches Gut" edited by S. Schleissing and B. Brandl, 2016
Posted: 26 Dec 2014 Last revised: 15 Apr 2020
Date Written: December 24, 2014
This paper discusses the influence of public interest in European patent legislation on plant-related issues. It briefly explains the implications of patentability of biological material for plant breeding and describes the interests of all the stakeholders involved in the matter. It argues that a balance between stakeholders' concerns is needed in order to promote public interest in plant-related patents. For clarity, the vague concept of "public interest" is explained in light of economic theory and it is further elaborated as a guidance for legislators. To this purpose, the importance of international legal acts (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, Convention on Biological Diversity and its Nagoya Protocol) as well as the European Citizens' Initiative introduced by the Lisbon Treaty is indicated.
Keywords: public interest, plant varieties, patents
JEL Classification: K30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation