Will the TRIPS Agreement Foster Appropriate Biotechnologies for Developing Countries?
ABSTRACT While almost all of the investment in agricultural biotechnology to date has been in temperate crops suitable for developed countries, developing countries are the greatest potential beneficiaries of this major technological advance. To realise this potential requires investment in crops appropriate to climatic and agronomic conditions in developing countries. Protection of intellectual property rights is a necessary condition for the private sector to invest in appropriate biotechnologies. This paper develops a game theoretic model of a bioscience firm that adapts a new technology to a range of agronomic conditions in response to the enforcement of intellectual property rights in a developed and a developing country. Over a range of potential penalties, low levels of enforcement by the developing country remain endemic despite the desire to have the bioscience firm adapt the biotechnology to its local conditions. In particular, the trade penalties contained in the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights are likely to be ineffective. The developing country might increase enforcement if the developed country was more aggressive in liberalising agriculture trade because there would be greater symmetry in the benefits of the technology. Copyright 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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ABSTRACT: High transaction costs and an absence of institutional infrastructure in developing countries prevent comprehensive enforcement of intellectual property rights and generate obstacles to the adoption of genetically modified (GM) crop technology. Governments of developing countries that are members of the World Trade Organization are faced with two options when licensing GM crop technology: (1) attempt to regulate GM crops to the standards of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) or (2) allow a black market in GM seeds and risk trade retaliation from the GM innovator's host country through a TRIPS trade complaint. This paper develops a conceptual model that frames the adopting country's range of licensing options, including a new levy system, and derives welfare measures for each option. The model illustrates how a levy on GM technology can be a welfare-increasing policy for developing countries, and the operation of a levy is discussed. The conceptual model is applied to Brazil's soybean market and quantitative economic surplus measures are estimated within a calibrated welfare model for a range of licensing scenarios. The model's results suggest that a levy may interfere with the long-term prospects for innovators to collect monopoly rents in adopting countries. Copyright (c) 2007 The Agricultural Economics Society.Journal of Agricultural Economics. 02/2008; 59(2):217-236.
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ABSTRACT: The application of intellectual property rights (IP) in developing countries is and remains highly controversial, particularly as regards applications to food/agriculture, and pharmaceuticals, which have direct ramifications for large numbers of peoples. One dimension complicating a reasoned dialogue on the public benefits of IP, particularly when many developing countries are implementing the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) as mandated by membership in the World Trade Organization, is a dearth of information on their actual operation and effects. In this study, we address one particular aspect of the limited documentation on the effects of IP systems, the effect of plant variety protection (PVP) on the genetic productivity potential of varieties. Specifically, we examine wheat varieties in Washington State, United States, which are produced by both public and private sector breeders. Results from the study show that implementation of PVP attracted private investment in open pollinated crops such as wheat in the United States and provided greater numbers of varieties of these crops, which are high yielding from both the public and private sectors. These results may provide some insights for policy makers from developing countries on the effects of IP for plants as their TRIPS commitments are being implemented.The Journal of World Intellectual Property 03/2009; 12(2):137 - 152.
Chapter: Patents and Haploid Plants[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Abstract One of the important themes in any discussion concerning the application of haploids in agricultural biotechnology or elsewhere is the role of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). This term covers both the content of patents and the confidential expertise, usually related to methodology and referred to as “Trade Secrets”. This review will explain the concepts behind patent protection, and will use the international patent databases to analyse the content of these patents and trends over the last 20 years. This analysis from regions including North America, Europe, and Asia reveals a total of more than 30 granted patents and a larger number of applications. The first of these patents dates from 1986, and although the peak of activity was in the late 1990s, there has been continuous interest to the present day. The subject matter of these patents and applications covers methods for anther and pollen culture, ovule culture, the use of specific haploid-inducing genes, the use of haploids as transformation targets, and the exploitation of genes that regulate embryo development. The species mentioned include cereals, vegetables, flowers, spices and trees.12/2008: pages 97-113;