Over the last few decades, the number of patents on plants and plant parts has greatly increased in various parts of the world. This has triggered social debate about possible negative consequences for the breeding sector, farmers and society. Despite the urgency of these questions, most research and literature has focused exclusively on developed countries – the USA and European Union, in particular – while little is known about the extent to which plants are being patented in other parts of the world. This research report, conducted and written by Prof. Carlos M. Correa, aims to fill this information gap by providing an overview of the status of patenting plants in the developing countries and emerging economies of the Global South.
With this research, Oxfam aims to contribute to awareness and understanding of the current status of patenting of plants in developing countries and emerging economies, to inform societal discussion and decision-making. The findings of this research – plus inputs from stakeholders during a workshop on global trends in patenting of seeds that took place in The Hague in October 2018 – informed the Oxfam Position Statement on the Patenting of Plants, that precedes the Report.
Annex 1 – Overview of the legal situation in the selected countries
Annex 2 – Overview of most relevant provisions in patent laws in the global South
Annex 3 – Sample of patents in selected countries
Annex 4 – Patent search methodology