Did Plant Patents Create the American Rose?
AbstractThe Plant Patent Act of 1930 was the first step towards creating property rights for biological innovation: it introduced patent rights for asexually-propagated plants. This paper uses data on plant patents and registrations of new varieties to examine whether the Act encouraged innovation. Nearly half of all plant patents between 1931 and 1970 were for roses. Large commercial nurseries, which began to build mass hybridization programs in the 1940s, accounted for most of these patents, suggesting that the new intellectual property rights may have helped to encourage the development of a commercial rose breeding industry. Data on registrations of newly-created roses, however, yield no evidence of an increase in innovation: less than 20 percent of new roses were patented, European breeders continued to create most new roses, and there was no increase in the number of new varieties per year after 1931.
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Date of creation: Apr 2011
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Other versions of this item:
- K0 - Law and Economics - - General
- N12 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
- O3 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights
- O31 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
- O34 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property Rights
- Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-05-07 (All new papers)
- NEP-HIS-2011-05-07 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-INO-2011-05-07 (Innovation)
- NEP-IPR-2011-05-07 (Intellectual Property Rights)
- NEP-LAW-2011-05-07 (Law & Economics)
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NBER Working Papers
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