MJIEL Vol 8 Issue 2 2011 - Article 2

Abstract: Intellectual property rights (IPRs) in agriculture makes agriculture a commodity for trade and transforms it from common heritage to private property on making its use restrictive. As a consequence, for securing investment of private individuals, IPRs in agriculture cause hardships to the mass people in developing and in particular least developed countries with making agricultural products high priced in the disguise of patent monopoly, making people pushed up and dependent on engineered seeds and other agricultural inputs. Nevertheless, the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (the TRIPS Agreement) recognizes some exceptions and flexibilities to the general rule of trade, which include the discretion to redefine patentable invention, choosing between patents and plant breeders’ rights (PBRs), and providing for compulsory licensing. Having such flexibilities in consideration, this study shows a clear need for public policy interventions to promote the utilisation and flow of plant genetic resources (PGRs) in general and urges Bangladesh in particular to frame legislations in better suiting development needs in agriculture, meeting the TRIPS Agreement’s mandates and respecting other commitments arising out of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) that promote farmers’ rights in line with the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits from the utilisation of genetic resources.

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