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Intellectual property rights in agricultural and agro-food biotechnologies to 2030 (© OECD International Futures Programme)

  • Trommetter, M.

The report contains two sections. The first analyses the incentive mechanisms in agricultural biotechnologies; it begins with a theoretical and historical analysis. The co-evolution of scientific paradigms and IPR in agricultural biotechnologies is then studied – in particular, the coexistence of various rights to protect the same innovation: a plant variety. The scientific paradigm presented – that of a gene intervening in several functions and a function depending on the interaction of several genes – is shown to modify considerably its link with IPR, so that patent thickets emerge. What is required is to implement at the same time a collective management of IPR and a collective management of research. The section looks at the stakes for farmers, who are the consumers of these innovations. Lastly, it addresses the stakes for the developing countries: the implementation of credible intellectual property rights must be accompanied by the implementation of a credible competition law to avoid situations of abuse of dominant position. These various effects show that research incentives in agricultural biotechnology are increasingly a question of co-ordination of research actors rather than a question of individual incentives. The second section looks at the future, from the science perspective (what demand will there be for what research tomorrow?) and an IPR perspective under the constraint of environmental change, like climate change. If intellectual property rights in agricultural biotechnologies, as well as the size of the expected market, are necessary conditions to develop innovations, what are the sufficient conditions? Various technologies are presented that could be mobilised in agricultural biotechnologies by 2030, including nanotechnologies. The report looks at the stakes in terms of intellectual property rights in the case, for example, of a plant allowed to perform multiple functions (food and industrial). It analyses the stakes for the developing countries. Finally, it makes proposals regarded as essential so that intellectual property rights keep up with the evolution of research and demand.

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Paper provided by Grenoble Applied Economics Laboratory (GAEL) in its series Working Papers with number 200805.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:gbl:wpaper:200805
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  1. Corinne Langinier & GianCarlo Moschini, 2002. "Economics of Patents: An Overview, The," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 02-wp293, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
  2. James D. Gaisford & Jill E. Hobbs & William A. Kerr, 2007. "Will the TRIPS Agreement Foster Appropriate Biotechnologies for Developing Countries?," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 199-217, 06.
  3. Dequiedt, V. & Menière, Y. & Trommetter, M., 2007. "Collective management of intellectual property rights," Working Papers 200703, Grenoble Applied Economics Laboratory (GAEL).
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  5. Aghion, Philippe & Blundell, Richard William & Griffith, Rachel & Howitt, Peter & Prantl, Susanne, 2005. "The Effects of Entry on Incumbent Innovation and Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 5323, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  7. Forero-Pineda, Clemente, 2006. "The impact of stronger intellectual property rights on science and technology in developing countries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 808-824, July.
  8. Suzanne Scotchmer, 1991. "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Cumulative Research and the Patent Law," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 29-41, Winter.
  9. Denicolo, Vincenzo, 1996. "Patent Races and Optimal Patent Breadth and Length," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 249-65, September.
  10. Bernard Sinclair-Desgagné, 2001. "Incentives in Common Agency," Cahiers de recherche 01-08, HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée.
  11. Shane, Scott & Somaya, Deepak, 2007. "The effects of patent litigation on university licensing efforts," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 739-755, August.
  12. Shapiro, Carl, 2000. "Navigating the Patent Thicket: Cross Licenses, Patent Pools, and Standard-Setting," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt4hs5s9wk, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  13. Trommetter, Michel, 2005. "Biodiversity and international stakes: A question of access," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 573-583, June.
  14. Etienne Billette de Villemeur & Bruno Versaevel, 2002. "From Private to Public Common Agency," Cahiers de recherche 02-06, HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée.
  15. Scott Shane & Deepak Somaya, 2007. "The Effects of Patent Litigation on University Licensing Efforts," NBER Chapters, in: Academic Science and Entrepreneurship: Dual Engines of Growth National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Combs, K. L., 1993. "The role of information sharing in cooperative research and development," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 535-551.
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