Patents, scientific and commercial use of plant genetic resources and traditional knowledge: How does public interest fit in this arena?

Abstract
Scientific and commercial users of plant genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge protect their research outputs under patent regimes. Inventors take advantage of the existing traditions and indigenous knowledge of biotechnological researches, and use them in their technologies to find new sequences and modified proteins. These newly modified technologies, processes and products are patentable, and the benefits are accrued to the inventors. Communities nurturing the traditional knowledge for years do not get any benefit and instead, have to forego their rights to use those products because of grant of intellectual property rights. Thus, the generation of new knowledge in this area will be against public interest. The concept of 'benefit sharing' is evaluated as a solution to this issue. This paper discusses the extent to which patent protection of the products or processes derived from research, based on plant genetic resources and traditional knowledge, addresses the public interest goal.
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Bram De Jonge (2011). What is Fair and Equitable Benefit-Sharing? Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 24 (2):127-146.
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