Sovereign and property rights over plant genetic resources

Agriculture and Human Values 12 (4):58-79 (1995)

The existence of sovereign rights over genetic resources is today well recognized in international law. However, the legal status of such resources in terms of property rights is still unclear. The consideration of this issue requires a clear distinction between physical and intangible property. Legislation in developed countries has extended patent protection to genetic resources, in addition to the protection of plant varieties via breeders' rights. The extension of protection and the implementation of the TRIPs Agreement may have important implications for breeding programs and trade in seeds. While intellectual property protection of genetic resources is rapidly advancing, considerable work is still to be done to ensure the compensation for the informal innovations made by local and indigenous communities
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DOI 10.1007/BF02218567
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