The International Consortium on Agricultural Biotechnology Research (ICABR)


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Patent and Other Private Legal Rights for Biotechnology Inventions
Donald D. Evenson


The paper will summarize general legal principles governing patent and other private legal rights for agricultural biotechnology inventions. It will begin with an exploration of components of the US system, including: the requirements to obtain a patent, the scope of rights a patent provides, the relationship between a utility patent, a plant patent, the plant variety protection act, and breeder rights acts. Further, the paper will offer practical examples, including an examination of the use of exclusive rights for pioneer developments. Throughout the paper, contrast will be drawn between the more expansive US system and the limited scope of protection offered in most other countries. The paper will attempt to prepare the reader to better evaluate the economic and social implications of the allocation of rights to biotechnology inventions.