2,825 research outputs found

    Crop genetic resource policy: the role of ex situ genebanks

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    The world-wide capacity of genebanks for ex situ conservation of crop genetic resources has increased greatly since the 1970s, improving the access of crop breeders to landraces and wild and weedy relatives. But utilization of genebank resources has not kept pace. The set of popular cultivars in major crops is typically rather small, and their ancestry encompasses only a fraction of the genetic diversity currently available in other cultivars. Discussions of farmers' rights that focus on compensation for current incorporation of farmers' varieties in new cultivars have diverted attention from the question of why so little of the newly accessible genetic diversity is currently being utilized by public and private breeders. To optimize the future provision of genebank services, research is needed on the costs of genebanks, the market for their services, the use of genetic resources by breeders, and the implications of recognition of farmers' rights, evolving intellectual property rights, continued funding problems and developments in biotechnology.Crop Production/Industries, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy,

    Why weak patents? Rational ignorance or pro-"customer" Tilt?

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    The issuance of weak patents is widely viewed as a fundamental problem in the current US patent system. Reasons that have been offered for the granting of weak patents by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) include examiners’ “rational ignorance” of the patentability of applications and pro-“customer” rules and institutions that create incentives for examiners to grant patents of dubious validity to their “customers”- applicants. In this paper, we study whether US examiners’ behavior in prior art search betrays their assessment of applications’ patentability. For a sample of US patents for which applications were also filed at the European Patent Office (EPO), we construct a measure of the fraction of prior art that is missed by US examiners. We find that this measure significantly explains the probability of receiving a patent at the EPO. The results are robust to different empirical specifications. US examiners’ prior art searches indicate that they are, on average, not “rationally ignorant”. On the contrary, they identify and dedicate more search effort to those applications that seem more problematic, because they bear the burden of proof of non-patentability. Our study offers empirical evidence that a systematic problem of weak patents likely exists, and suggests that the problem may be more strongly attributable to the pro-applicant rules and policies than to examiners’ ignorance. The current prevalence of weak patents does not appear to be caused at the margin by lack of resources at the USPTO.Weak patents, Rational ignorance, cited prior art, missed prior art, Industrial Organization, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies,

    Dynamic implications of patenting for crop genetic resources:

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    In a climate of rapid technological change, it is important to evaluate policies on the innovation incentives that result from the introduction of intellectual property rights as they relate to agricultural genetic resources. In this paper, we use a stylized model of cumulative innovation to explore the dynamics of introducing patent protection with licensing agreements, and then we contrast those results with the comparative-statics viewpoint. We also investigate the dynamic effects of claims on behalf of farmers on the profits of private crop breeders whose output is newly protected by patents. We show that the choices about patent life and licensing share that optimize worldwide dynamic social welfare can be quite different from the values that maximize steady-state social welfare. Further, recognition of farmers' rights entails a dynamic welfare loss to producers and consumers that is not revealed in a comparative-statics analysis.Plant breeding Technological innovations., Plant genetic engineering Economic aspects., Intellectual property.,

    The Cost of Aggregate Energy Conservation

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    Patents versus patenting: implications of intellectual property protection for biological research

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    A new survey shows scientists consider the proliferation of intellectual property protectionto have a strongly negative effect on research.patents, biology, intellectual property, material transfer agreements

    Are intellectual property rights stifling agricultural biotechnology in developing countries: IFPRI 2000-2001 Annual Report Essay

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    For more than a century, plant breeders in government-funded research centers have sought out crop varieties with characteristics that might help poor farmers in developing countries grow more food. They have painstakingly bred and cross-bred these varieties through generations to achieve a desirable mix of characteristics. At an accelerating pace in the 1960s and 1970s the work of these breeders changed the developing world — the higher-yielding varieties of wheat, rice, and other food staples they produced helped avert catastrophic famine in Asia — and their work continues to improve the lives and livelihoods of millions of people. Now, however, critics of the newest tool in the agricultural researchers' toolbox — genetic engineering — argue that the new environment for agricultural research may leave farmers in the developing countries out in the cold. The largely misplaced concerns that patents and other forms of intellectual property are currently severely constraining the freedom to operate in developing countries is diverting attention from more crucial issues for agricultural researchers working on staple food crops.Intellectual property., Plant breeding Technological innovations., Plant genetic engineering., Biotechnology Developing countries.,
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