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Intellectual property rights (IPRs) for plant breeders: a review on theoretical framework and employment of DNA-based varietal authentication for claiming IPR

Authors:

W. W. M. U. K. Wijesundara,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About W. W. M. U. K.
Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Science
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G. K. S. Ananda,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About G. K. S.
Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Science
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L. T. Ranaweera,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About L. T.
Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Science
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U. A. K. S. Udawela,

Rice Research and Development Institute (RRDI), Bathalagoda, Ibbagamuwa, LK
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C. K. Weebadde,

Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, US
About C. K.
Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

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S. D. S. S. Sooriyapathirana

University of Peradeniya, LK
About S. D. S. S.
Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Science
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Abstract

Plant patents (PPs) and Plant Breeders’ Rights (PBR) are two forms of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) granted to improved novel crop varieties. The government of the state of authority issues PPs and PBR after confirming the uniqueness of varietal identity. The uniqueness relies on distinctiveness, uniformity, and stability of the new variety. Morphological, physiological and biochemical descriptors are less capable in varietal discrimination to obtain IPR in the presence of large number of closely related varieties as the reference collections, but advanced molecular tools such as DNA fingerprinting and sequencing have high potentials to detect the uniqueness. DNA fingerprinting and sequencing have identified varietal identities of many crops such as rice, apple, wheat, and soybean revealing the potential of the successful use of molecular descriptors in granting patents or PBR. The novelty verification is the first step in the process of allowing patents or PBRs. The patent or plant variety protection office requires an application from the breeder that includes all the details of the plant variety fulfilling all statutory requirements to grant varietal ownership via a patent certificate or a plant variety protection certificate. Currently, Sri Lanka has no developed system of IPRs to allow PBR or patents for improved crop varieties. The efforts made by breeders in developing novel varieties can be justified and appreciated by granting plant varietal ownerships. For this purpose, molecular descriptors must be used instead of inefficient morphological, physiological and biochemical characters to avoid ambiguities and to clearly define the inventor of a particular variety.
How to Cite: Wijesundara, W.W.M.U.K., Ananda, G.K.S., Ranaweera, L.T., Udawela, U.A.K.S., Weebadde, C.K. and Sooriyapathirana, S.D.S.S., 2018. Intellectual property rights (IPRs) for plant breeders: a review on theoretical framework and employment of DNA-based varietal authentication for claiming IPR. Sri Lanka Journal of Food and Agriculture, 4(2), pp.53–70. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljfa.v4i2.64
Published on 28 Dec 2018.
Peer Reviewed

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