Patent on plant characteristics not without consequences

Anxious breeding sector split over patent rights
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Patent on plant characteristics not without consequences

For half a century international plant breeders’ rights have brought stability and security to the breeding sector. These rights have protected breeders against unauthorised breeding and marketing of propagation material by third parties while they could still freely use each other’s varieties for hybridisation purposes. However, now it seems that breeding rights are quickly having to make room for patents. These are not so much related to plant varieties as to accurately defined plant characteristics. While the exact impact remains to be seen, currently there is great concern. Supporters and opponents provide opinion and explanation.

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