"Biotechnology, Plant Variety Protection ....," (1985) Schmid 810-SSP\Biotechnology.wpd

Living organisms: inherent variability & complexity of open pollinated species.

HIC to determine if copied.

Costly to achieve stability.

Parties: competing breeders, breeder and farmer.

1. Patent (PVPA)

a. Narrow product space defined morphologically.

b. Broad product space; many years of protection.


c. General patent, defined genetically.

2. Public research

1.a. Cosmetic breeding avoids patent and lead to low returns to research. Many varieties confuse farmers.



b. Prevents cheap, slightly different copies. Rules out independent creation as well.

Possible monopoly returns.

Large investment to achieve otherwise useless stability. No composite varieties.

Protection against other breeders, but not against farmers who save own seed.

2. No incentive for cosmetic breeding. Fewer varieties.


Low Excl. Cost

3. No effective patent Farmers can't save own seed. Breeders get high profit.
Industrial processes

e.g. aspartime made with a particular bacteria in a fermentation tank.

Low Excl. Cost

4. Trade secrets Lots of investment.

Farmers are gone.