Intellectual Property Rights in Horticulture
Authors:Kannaiyan, S; V.A.Parthasarathy; D.Prasathy
Associated Publishing Company, New Delhi (www.apcbooks.in)
Horticulture is one of the most important commercial enterprise among agricultural activities. It has started receiving great interest. Horticultural crop production is an engine for economic growth – it creates jobs, supports agri-businesses and generates income to a greater degree than any other agricultural crop. Value-addition to horticultural crops generates further employment in the associated agri-businesses and further down the commodity chain from the producer to the consumer. Horticultural crops provide micronutrients and also nutraceuticals that have health benefits. Fruits and vegetables are the most sustainable and affordable sources of micronutrients in diets. Horticulture is unique in that it directly addresses poverty and food security issues in both urban and rural areas of the developing world. A strengthened horticulture sector can have a positive impact on global development.
Recent national and international changes in intellectual property (IP) legislative frameworks will have profound effects on the ways in which horticultural innovations reach the poor and on how public and private research and development institutions pursue their work. Whereas IP rights are sometimes viewed as creating barriers to access to innovations in agriculture, we opined that it is not intellectual property, per se
, that raises barriers, but rather how intellectual property is used and managed, particularly by public sector institutions. Intellectual property is a tool to foster innovation, whether viewed as a legal concept, a social construct, a business asset, or an instrument to achieve humanitarian objectives, the value of intellectual property cannot be disputed. IP protection in horticulture can take the form of patents, trademarks, geographical indications, copyrights, plant variety protection, and trade secrets. Each of these different types of statutory IP protection protects a different type of intellectual property and grants different rights to the owner. By using statutory IP protection strategically organizations can make the most of their own IP assets.
The Convention on biological diversity signals wider international acceptance of both intellectual property rights (IPRs) over biological inventions and the need for multilateral assistance for crop genetic resources preservation. The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture recognizes that agrobiodiversity depends on the contributions of traditional farmers and indigenous peoples. The Treaty makes national governments responsible for acknowledging the rights of their own farmers. It requires countries to pass legislation that protects traditional agricultural knowledge, requires recipients to share the benefits that are derived from the use of plant genetic resources, and includes farmers in national decisions on conservation and the sustainable use of plant genetic resources. Practical solutions to horticulture could indeed benefit many if only we could manage to build bridges between traditional knowledge and science-based knowledge systems and draw upon the best existing ideas and practices of both.
The present book addresses the potential role and importance of an appropriate system of intellectual property rights in sustaining innovation and technological change in horticulture, a sector where the research and development process is typically cumulative in nature. Strengthening R&D and establishing policies for the creation and management of IP and public-partnerships in horticulture sector are important steps for making available technologies to all stake holders. This book would serve students, researchers and industry as a hand book. It may also be used in the curriculum of agricultural universities for providing an overview. As laws and regulations are subject to be amended by government, we advise readers to refer to the latest amendments.