Declining government budgets, pressure from donors and agribusiness firms and the failure of some government seed corporations are encouraging policy makers in a number of less developed countries (LDCs) to privatize plant breeding, seed production and seed distribution. Developed countries are pressing for stronger intellectual property rights such as plant breeders' rights (PBR) and utility patents as a means of encouraging private firms to transfer technology and conduct more research and development (R&D). A number of countries are considering PBR legislation.1 This paper examines the development of PBRs and their impact on private research and technology transfer in the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Argentina and Chile. From their experiences some policy implications for developing countries are derived.


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