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Intellectual property in agriculture, protection of plant varieties and related issues
Even though one could trace the history of protecting intellectual property in plant varieties and seeds to the eighteenth century, serious attempts started only in the early periods of the twentieth century.1 It was the legislation in U.S.A., Germany, Hungry, Italy, Netherlands, Austria, etc. in the 1930s which really led to private monopolization of plants and business. These global seeds men raised the question of plant breeder's rights in the international forum. It was followed by a counter concern for farmer's right, in particular by the developing world, under the auspices of the Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). In the meantime, there has been significant advancement in new technologies, particularly the biotechnology. The cost of research and investments in production have thus increased several folds. In order to safeguard the interests of investors, the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) have emerged Strong. Protection of IPR was necessitated either by patents or other forms of protection including the Plant Variety Protection (PVP). Whereas, the IPR protection can be granted only by the governments within their national jurisdiction, there are several international treaties, which facilitate collective action for governance of these issues. India has ratified or acceded to various inter-governmental arrangements in larger national interest as well as in the interest of the humanity at large.