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

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/12/AR2008051202919.html
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…

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