Can seeds be patented in India

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Can seeds be patented in IndiaCan Seeds be Patented in India

Yes, seeds can be patented in India under certain conditions and according to the laws and regulations in place. In India, the protection of plant varieties and farmers’ rights is governed by the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPV&FR) Act, 2001.

According to the PPV&FR Act, plant varieties that are new, distinct, uniform, and stable can be registered and protected. This includes both sexually reproduced and essentially derived varieties. A sexually reproduced variety refers to a variety that results from the sexual crossing of plants, while an essentially derived variety refers to a variety that is predominantly derived from an existing variety but differs in certain important characteristics.

However, it’s important to note that there are certain exceptions to patentability. According to Section 3(j) of the Indian Patents Act, 1970, plant varieties or seeds that are essentially biological processes for the production of plants are not patentable. This means that natural seeds or seeds derived from conventional breeding methods may not be eligible for patent protection.

It’s advisable to consult with a qualified intellectual property attorney or seek guidance from the relevant authorities, such as the Indian Patent Office or the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPV&FRA), for specific information and guidance on patenting seeds in India.

Plant and seed patenting is in high demand in India.

According to the Indian agricultural community, such patents are detrimental to the interests of a nationally significant key crop and might harm the Indian economy.

After joining The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) in 1995, this government cancelled the contentious patent under Section 66 of the Patents Act and became even more careful regarding plant patents.

With the adoption of section 3(j) in May 2003, India’s national patent law was updated to fulfil the TRIPS requirement by prohibiting patents on plants.

Similarly, India fought a hard struggle to limit the claims of the basmati rice plant patent given to Texan business RiceTec in the United States in 2000.

Seeds

Seeds are the reproductive structures of plants that contain the embryo of a new plant. They serve as a means of propagation and ensure the continuation of plant species. Seeds are formed within the fruits of flowering plants, although some plants, like gymnosperms, produce seeds without fruits.

The structure of a seed typically consists of several parts:

  1. Seed Coat: The outer protective layer of the seed that provides physical protection and helps prevent desiccation (drying out). It may be hard or soft, depending on the plant species.
  2. Embryo: The young, undeveloped plant within the seed. It contains the primary root (radicle), shoot (plumule), and one or two seed leaves (cotyledons). The embryo has the potential to develop into a mature plant under suitable conditions.
  3. Endosperm: Some seeds, especially in monocot plants, have an endosperm—a nutrient-rich tissue that surrounds the embryo. The endosperm provides nourishment to the growing embryo during germination.
  4. Cotyledons: These are the seed leaves that store and provide nutrients to the developing embryo. They can vary in number depending on the plant species. Monocots typically have one cotyledon, while dicots have two.

Seeds have adaptations to survive adverse conditions and disperse to new locations for optimal growth. They can be dispersed by wind, water, animals, or by their own mechanisms such as explosive seed pods or burrs that stick to fur or clothing. Once conditions are favorable, seeds germinate, meaning they start to grow and develop into a new plant.

Seeds are not only important for plant reproduction, but also have practical uses for humans. They are a vital source of food, such as grains (e.g., wheat, rice, corn) and nuts (e.g., almonds, cashews). Additionally, seeds are used in agriculture for crop production, in horticulture growing plants, and in conservation efforts to preserve plant species.

Read More: The Tungabhadra River History | List of Plants with Plant Breeders Rights

 


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