Daily Archives: May 13, 2008

An “intellectual property grab”, or crucial research that might not surface without adequate IP protection?

This Washington Post article was responding the to release by the ETC Group (http://www.etcgroup.org/en/) of a report that talked of “the world’s largest seed and agrochemical corporations … stockpiling hundreds of monopoly patents on genes in plants that the companies will market as crops genetically engineered to withstand environmental stresses associated with climate change – including drought, heat, cold, floods, saline soils, and more.”  The industry responded by saying that these plants would never be developed without patent protections, and a spokeswoman took the opportunity to highlight involvement in “public-good” projects.  With food security such a hot problem, the commentator is right to say the risks of PR disaster for seed companies are high right now – perhaps as a result the conditions for favourable public-private partnerships may also grow…