Plant Variety Protection - A Private Breeder's Viewpoint

Richard H. Sheetz


The protection of breeder's intellectual property rights in relation to cotton varieties in the U.S. is not adequate. This is particularly true in Texas where loose interpretations of the Crop Exemption ("Farmer Exemption") of the Plant Variety Protection Act (PVPA) are fairly widespread and where abuses of "Variety Not Stated" provisions are common. Many of these problems are caused by ambiguity in the original Plant Variety Protection Act.

The discouraging effect of these market conditions on breeding R & D expenditures in Texas is significant. The potential for introducing biotechnology products in this environment is also unattractive.

Proposed changes in the PVPA will contribute to a healthier environment for Cotton Research and Development but may ultimately be rendered ineffective by existing Variety Not Stated loopholes in various states.

Reprinted from Proceedings of the 1994 Beltwide Cotton Conferences pp. 685 - 687
©National Cotton Council, Memphis TN

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Document last modified Sunday, Dec 6 1998