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Abstract

This article discusses the mutual reinforcement effects of IPRs and biotechnology in recent years, and review the development of GURTs and how the major agricultural biotechnology companies behave in that regard. Both proponents and opponents of GURTs made strong arguments based on speculations. We discuss the major arguments by both sides, and argue the possible strategic use of bundling and licensing strategy by the biotech giants, because GURTs make it possible for a seed to be marketed as a vector of trait options. We also examine the validity of two major implicit assumptions held by those opposing GURTs: patenting does not affect the monopoly power of GURTs; and GURTs would take over the GM seed market.

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