Please help me find resources that explain the terms of "ownership" in patents on improved seeds and plant materials.
July 17, 2012 6:07 AM   Subscribe

I have a question about patents in relationship to "improved" seeds and plant materials (my knowledge of IP law and plant breeding is pretty limited). I'm trying to understand more precisely the terms of ownership of these agreements. For example, I understand there are reach-through provisions that exclude materials from being used for purposes other than research. I also understand that many biotech firms are not interested in plant materials that contain technologies not already part of their IP portfolios. Please direct me to resources that will help me understand the terms of ownership -- how "property," in this case is information, is made explicit with these agreements.
posted by grubstake to Law & Government (1 answer total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Your questions sound like they relate to a license of intellectual property, discussed here with regard to plant patents. More on plant patents and their licensing. A license to practice an invention can have terms that, for example, allow research use but not commercial use. It depends on what the parties agree to.

A license provides a subset of the total rights in IP (such as to make or use a patented invention under certain conditions), whereas an assignment transfers ownership of the whole enchilada.
posted by exogenous at 8:07 AM on July 17, 2012

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