Federation of seed Industry of India (FSII) is the Seed Industry body representing research-based Seed companies in India. FSII membership covers the leading seed companies in the major crops of the country. Its members are guided by respect for laws, strict adherence to regulations, serving farmers’ interests, responsible stewardship, and recognition of IP rights of innovation.
There is a need to recognize that organizations have already made significant research investments in the agri-biotech sector. This judgement will severely restrict their ability to license their technologies and will hamper further investments in this sector. The prevailing confusion on this matter has already made some organizations to close or scale down their biotech research efforts. By adversely impacting innovation, this judgement will deal a severe blow to the interests of the Indian farmers in the long run. It is important to protect the interests of both the biotech innovators and the seed companies who license those innovations. The ambiguity related to the rights granted under Patent Act and the PVP&FR Act needs to be removed by the Government by passing a relevant legislation or order.
FSII understands from various media reports that the Division Bench of the Honourable High Court of Delhi has given a judgement on 11th April 2018, with regards to an ongoing dispute related to intellectual property protection of Bollgard-II cotton technology and has held that the technology is not patentable under Patents Act, 2002.
While we respect the court’s judgement, this order will have wider implications beyond the seed and agri biotech sector. If the patent protection granted to a biotech trait under the Patent Act is superseded by the protection granted to the plant under the PVP&FR Act upon the insertion of the trait into the plant, there is no reason for any organization, whether private or public, whether Indian or MNC - to invest money in inventing new traits for agriculture since a trait, whether GM or non-GM, becomes useful for farmers or consumers only when it has been incorporated in the plant. As per the press release issued by the federation.
Krishi Jagran/New Delhi