THE ROLE OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS IN
Private rights have always been contentious in living artefacts. The first phase in human
culture has been agriculture. Therefore, agriculture with plant and agricultural techniques, unlike
sector and trade, has previously dated any type of security of IPR. The IPR was traditionally not
used in farming. This position has changed in recent times and agriculture has been viewed more
and more as an industry without research and development and clever investment that cannot
endure. For future generations, food security will depend on protecting biological resources. The
origin of several significant genes is biological capital. Researchers want to develop plant types
to boost crop output, to resist drastic adjustments in weather conditions, etc. This paper discusses
the safeguarding of intellectual estate freedoms in crop species and the rights of landowners and
others. It also discusses fresh trends and trends in fresh IP approaches and the use of IP
legislation in agriculture and forestry as well as crop genetic resource governance.
Key Notes: IPR, Agriculture, Patent, Plant Variety Protection, PPV&FV Act.
Modern agricultural biotechnology is increasingly characterized by its exclusive
characteristics. In contrast to previous agrarian science from privately financed laboratories,
fresh biotechnology is shielded by patents and other IPRs. Will the seed monopolizing, study
instruments and even expertise contribute to these IPRs, most of which are held by the private
sector? Will it promote R&D through investment incentives and facilitate access to other
In the growth of products and technology transfer to emerging nations the possession of
IPRs in agri-biotech is now at problem. In their studies, scientists now have to believe IPRs to be
a significant variable, particularly in the growth of products. The majority of major research
organizations, public and private, have been actively considering and implementing IPR policies
since the beginning of the 1990s.1
** Research Scholar, Law Department; MDU Rohtak; Mob. 8607242393; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
1 The Role of Intellectual Property Rights in Agricultural Engineering; https://www.ijcmas.com/7-11-2018/P.S.
%20Joshi%20and%20S.V.%20Pathak2.pdf; Site visited on 12th July 2019 at 12:15 PM.
What is Intellectual Property?
IP is the region of law which protects the freedoms of those creating initial works. It
includes everything from innovations and inventions to initial works and books. IPRs aim to
promote fresh innovations, creative creations and inventions, while fostering economic growth.
If people understand that artistic work is safeguarded and that they can profit from their job, they
will proceed to generate employment, develop fresh technologies, improve procedures, and
generate beauty in the globe around them.
Agricultural machinery industry in India in 2018 was valued at Rs. 908 billion and
possesses enormous growth and development capabilities2. Agricultural machinery demand has
created the benefits of farm productivity mechanization and loan facilities accessible to
agriculturists. Today, intellectual property is increasingly essential in the agricultural trade.
Intellectual property is not physical, it constructs the mind alone. In the future it will probably be
essential for agricultural sectors to innovate together with product differentiation. There is a wide
competition on the globe economies; the more advantageous it can bring to the manufacturers
who take the most advantage of intellectual property. In this context, it will be important to see
how the global trading scheme handles IP.3
Patent Protection - Agricultural Aspects:
Patent laws were introduced in several nations already in the 19th century. The patent
setting and the like were stipulated in these laws. These laws stipulate that only certain classes of
innovations should be protected by patents. In the majority of domestic patent laws, the overall
patentability criteria were identical at the fundamental stage and needed novel and industrial
applicability of innovations. The necessity for non-obviousness or inventive step was later
created by case law in the mid-1900s and codified.4
Plant Protection Legislations
2 Indian Agricultural Equipment Market: Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2019-
2024; https://www.imarcgroup.com/farm-agricultural-equipments-industry-india; site visited on 12th July 2019 at
3 https://www.isaaa.org/resources/publications/pocketk/9/default.asp; site visited on 20th July 2019 at 9:15 PM.
In the case of agricultural instruments and equipment or the design process of agricultural
chemicals patents could primarily be implemented in accordance with the Indian Patent Act 1970
and subsequent modifications. But practices in “agriculture/horticulture, life forms of other
micro-organisms, such as plant varieties, animal strain/breeds, fish or birds, as well as
chemical/biochemical goods, and all procedures used to make livestock or crops safe from
disease or to improve their economic value or that of” livestock or crops, for medical or cure
purposes. The use, or the ability to use or otherwise use, materials designed for medication and
food as a medicine, were not patentable until early 2005, except as regards process innovations
pertaining to chemicals, including alloys, Optic glass, semi-conductive compounds, and inter-
metallic compounds. As of 2005, the Patent Act (Amendments) 2005 allowed for the patenting of
innovations relating to agrochemicals as products. No legislation on the protection of plant
varieties was previously in place in India. However, it was thought the need for such legislation
after becoming a signatory to the TRIPS Agreement that “Article 27.3(b) of the TRIPS
Agreement rendered it compulsory to ensure the security of the plant varieties either by patents
or by an efficacious sui generis scheme or by any” mixture of it. In India, a sui generis scheme
was created which integrates breeders, peasants and groups with respect to the safety of plant
varieties. Sui generis allows the design and additions to a patent scheme for the security of plant
varieties of its own. The IPR security for fresh plant species in India in the form of the Protection
of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act (PPVFR) of 2001 came about as a consequence of this
law. These developments have established favourable legal circumstances for global
biotechnology research and development associations.
Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001
The immediate trigger for the establishment in India of the PVP scheme is the
requirement that every country undertaken in the WTO has to introduce IP protection for plant
varieties under Article 27.3(b) of the TRIPS Agreement. PVP was also viewed in 2000 as
necessary in order to encourage food security, in particular from the viewpoint of business
breeders, producers and agro-biodiversity conservation. In order that the country can safeguard
and maintain its producers’ freedoms on the one side and at the same moment give privileges to
plant breeders on the other, it was necessary to have a PVP sui generis scheme in India.
India is one of the world’s first nations to enact legislation which concurrently gives
privileges to peasants and breeders under a single Act. The only laws in this field; that gives
producers’ official privileges in a manner; that doesn’t compromise their self-sufficiency while
acknowledging the attempts of crop-breeders for the development of fresh plant varieties. The
Act acknowledges that producers are both a grower and a conservator of the farm type by
protecting the rights. The aims of the Act are to establish an efficient scheme for protecting crop
varieties, protecting producers’ and crop breeders freedoms; boost investment in studies and
growth in the seed sector and ensure the accessibility for farmers and other landowners, such as
horticulturalists, of elevated value plants and growing materials of enhanced species. PVP in
India benefit the licensed breeder in saving, using, seeding, reseeding, sharing, and sharing or
selling its fresh range, and the breeder registered with a fresh variation can, without its consent,
prevent anyone who is marketing, exporting, importing or manufacture such a range. It may also
be deceivingly comparable to the use, selling, export, import or manufacturing of any type. The
concept behind giving breeders’ exclusive privileges is that in their lack the risks of the free
movement of third parties would be significant, as the genetic material of these fresh species is
one of the most relevant characteristics which characterize their distinguishing and precious
commercial characteristics. Naturally this genetic material is self-replicating that can be
produced by reproducing plants or other materials that make such material especially sensitive to
use by individuals other than the innovator. Again, crop farmers are compelled to operate secretly
in the lack of such freedoms and potential employees are refused access to experimental and
A counter barrier to the IPR was the relation that was crucial in reflecting the
contributions traditional breeders made to improving plant genetic resources, especially in
emerging countries. Farmer’s rights are defined as rights resulting from farmer’s contributions to
conserve, improve and make accessible plant genetic resources, especially those in centres of
origin/diversity, as provided for in Council resolution 5/89 of the FAO Council. One way was to
attempt and change current IPR legislation to allow producers to take exclusive privileges in
5 IPR Protection in Agriculture: An Overview by Mohan Dewan in Journal of Intellectual Property Rights in March,
2016; https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/b4ee/dc95cbb159f8a63bc802e40b50d928d525ea.pdf; site visited on 15th July
2019 at 4:05 PM.
their informal plant varieties. One of the ways in which producers could make donations to plant
genetic diversity was the benefits-sharing mechanics such as payments and technology transfers.
Biological variety refers to the variety of “living organisms from all sources and
ecological complexes” within or between species and habitats “according to Indian Biological
Diversity Act 2002.” Biodiversity is the most sustainable type of soil fertility and food security.
It enables peasants manage the economy and crops of their farms. The aims “of the CBD are to
conserve biological diversity, to promote the sustainable use of its components, and to ensure
that the benefits resulting from using genetic resources are shared fairly” and equitably. These
goals are influenced by IPR in some ways. The data contained in the fresh crops/plant types,
pharmaceuticals, herbicides and pesticides or fresh biotechnological procedures are important in
creating the mechanisms for the protection and enforcement of data control. A new scenario has
been introduced, particularly in terms of acknowledgment of “the economic, ecological and
cultural value of genetic resources and biological derived materials,” following the entry into
force of the CBD. The most significant effect of IPRs on biodiversity in particular is the
immediate “or indirect misappropriation of biological and genetic resources by the” states’
sovereignty over their genetic resources and in particular, traditional expertise which was known
as bio-piracy as well. If, however, the biodiversity is not safeguarded in a region, it can also have
adverse effects, especially in the field of agro-biological diversity, some of which include
displacing traditional and native crops, restricting export of traditional medicinal plants that
affect conservation on the ground, and especially restricting the conservation, utilization and
marketing of farmed seed by peasants.6
Both advanced and developing countries benefitted economically through the use and
financial exploitation of genetic resources. But while benefiting from the benefits, the use of IPR
over biological and genetic resources must be critically monitored and balanced as progress
depends on them. It is therefore also essential for consumers and suppliers of these biological
products to share the advantages efficiently.
Other forms of IP protection in agriculture:
6 Ibid, p.117
Trade Secrets protection for hybrid plant types can, for example, be used in agriculture.
Therefore the use of hybrids is a level of suitability even in nations that do not acknowledge crop
breeders’ privileges, as soon as they are maintained confidential. Commercial secrets may be
shielded by legislation on unfair competition, restrictive business procedures or contract law
against misappropriation by third parties.
The marks used in trade may apply to agricultural and industrial products as well as to
utilities. For example, trademarks can be used for “market seeds or for spraying services. The
fundamental aim of a trademark is to differentiate goods and services from one” company and to
avoid the disappointment of the customer. Such security avoids and is not restricted in moment to
the misuse of trademarks, even if registering must be updated occasionally.
Geographical indications (GI) are a class of trademarks more frequently used in
agriculture than industrial sector. These are marks connected with goods of a nation, area or
locality where the product’s features are mainly due to its geographical origin. Many GIs are
associated with or obtained from agricultural products. Famous instances of this are: ‘Darjeeling
for tea’, “‘Devgad or Ratnagiri for mangoes’, ‘Tasgaon, for grapes’ in that district. Those plant
species created with traditional knowledge and linked to a specific region may also be regarded
as GI in the interest of not being protected for a period of time as is the situation in plant patents
or the rights of plant breeders.” However, business advantages for GI can only be obtained if the
name of a site is linked to a farm item.
The conventional agricultural IPRs are patents, especially on biotechnological
innovations, rights of vegetarian farmers, trademarks and geographical signs. Trade secrets are
now also regarded to be component of IPRs, as are the privacy of unknown testing information
and these are also applicable to the agricultural sector. Initial conceptualization at global and
domestic level is a phase of farmers’ freedoms and community “IPRs. India is not a member of
the Paris Convention or the UPOV, but is a WTO member, and thus is bound, within the” time
limits laid down therein, to implement the TRIPS Agreement. Most of the requirements of
TRIPS in these IPRs, like strong biotechnology innovation process patents, must be in effect by
1.1.2000 and India would have the period up to 1.1.2005 to apply only for product patents on
In the acts that protect and protect the interests of individuals effectively and
appropriately, and “not exclude domestic industries, farmers, scientists and markets, the
Government must make such amendments and at the same time serve the interest of a wider
group of society. Patent law must be seen as an incentive ” to promote the development of fresh
techniques and the public disclosure of the subsequent innovation, by attracting temporary
monopoly. If the patent incentive is offered indiscriminately, however, innovations can not reveal
important benefits to their development. Innovations have an unwanted effect and are of benefit.
The effect of disclosure relies mainly on their nature. If the first are granted patent incentives
regardless of their adverse effects, then damaging technology may develop and better options
may slow down. A policy and a law must be developed that will create new instruments and
instruments which would effectively ensure that countries of origin are able to assert their rights
over their genetic resources, ensure that the benefits derived from their use are shared equitably
and, more importantly, protect the indigenous population who are doing intellectual work.
1. The Role of Intellectual Property Rights in Agriculture and Allied Sciences; by Chandan
Roy; CRC Press, Tylor & Francis Group.
2. Overwalle Geertrui Van, Patent protection for plants: A comparison of American and
European approaches, IDEA-Journal of Law and Technology, 39 (2) (1999) 143-194.
3. IPR knowledgebase: IPR overview, http://www.rkdewan.com/iprOverviewMain.jsp;
4. Kumar, Vilas and Kunal, Sinha, 2015. Status and Challenges of Intellectual Property
Rights in Agriculture Innovation in India. Journal of Intellectual Property Rights., vol 20.
5. Joshi, P.S. and Pathak, S.V. 2018. The Role of Intellectual Property Rights in Agricultural
Engineering. Int.J.Curr.Microbiol.App.Sci. 7(11): 3151-3158.