Genetically Modified Crops and Intellectual Property Law: Interpreting Indian Patents on Bt Cotton in View of the Socio-Political Background
8 (2) Journal of Intellectual Property, Information Technology and E-Commerce Law (JIPITEC), 2017, 151-165
15 Pages Posted: 11 May 2018
Date Written: July 16, 2017
In India, patents on Bt cotton have given rise to an unproductive controversy. This controversy has compromised the deliberative debate on the potential contribution of genetically modified crops to rural development. Notwithstanding the ongoing controversy, the article argues that the central demand of the campaign against patents on Bt cotton (the abolishment of patents on plants and plant parts) is actually not in contradiction with the practices of the Bt cotton industry (which mainly uses patents on the Bt technology). Furthermore, the Indian courts do have the legal possibility to interpret the Indian Patent Act in such a way that it prohibits the patenting of plants and plant parts. Such an interpretation could potentially help to appease the ongoing controversy and to foster a deliberative debate on genetically modified crops and rural development.
Keywords: Bt cotton; genetically modified crops; patents; intellectual property; India; deliberative democracy
JEL Classification: D23, D45, H 41, K11, L14, L 65, O13, O31, O32, O34
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