The Demise and Rebirth of Plant Variety Protection: A Comment on Technological Change and the Design of Plant Variety Protection Regimes

9 Pages Posted: 2 Jan 2007

See all articles by Laurence Helfer

Laurence Helfer

Duke University School of Law; University of Copenhagen - iCourts - Centre of Excellence for International Courts

Abstract

In 'Technological Change and the Design of Plant Variety Protection Regimes', Mark Janis and Stephen Smith make two novel and provocative claims. They first argue that the legal regime for protecting new plant varieties has become hopelessly outdated in light of recent changes in technology. They next assert that the fate of the plant variety protection (PVP) system illustrates a broader and more disturbing phenomenon in intellectual property law: the potential for sui generis, industry-specific intellectual property regimes to become increasingly ineffective over time. In this brief essay, I offer three points to amplify the authors' contributions and highlight the legal and political consequences of the arguments they advance. I first discuss plant breeders' rights as a distinct form of intellectual property protection. Next, I review the challenges to implementing the authors' proposal to replace existing PVP rules with unfair competition principles. Third and finally, I consider the extent to which the obsolescence of plant breeders' rights represents a phenomenon that exists in intellectual property systems more generally.

Keywords: intellectual property, plant variety protection, plant breeding, international law, international legal regimes, innovation, technological change

Suggested Citation

Helfer, Laurence, The Demise and Rebirth of Plant Variety Protection: A Comment on Technological Change and the Design of Plant Variety Protection Regimes. Chicago-Kent Law Review, Vol. 82, p.1619, 2007; Vanderbilt Public Law Research Paper No. 06-28; Vanderbilt Law and Economics Research Paper No. 06-31. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=954000

Laurence Helfer (Contact Author)

Duke University School of Law ( email )

210 Science Dr.
Box 90360
Durham, NC 27708
United States
+1-919-613-8573 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://law.duke.edu/fac/helfer/

University of Copenhagen - iCourts - Centre of Excellence for International Courts ( email )

University of Copenhagen Faculty of Law
Karen Blixens Plads 16
Copenhagen S, DK-2300
Denmark

HOME PAGE: http://jura.ku.dk/icourts/

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