UIC Review of Intellectual Property Law


As we enter further into the boom of the biotechnology era, the role that plants play in our everyday lives continues to grow increasingly more important. This article seeks to provide a general outline of the protections available on a national, as well as, international level for new plant varieties produced through both genetic engineering processes utilized by the biotechnology field, as well as, the "older" methods, such as cross germination, splicing, etc. that are still successfully being utilized by the general scientific community. In the broadest sense this article is designed to help those who are unfamiliar with the protections available for new plant varieties better understand the minimal protections available in those countries that are signatories of the TRIPS-GATT treaty, as well as, the more specific systems of protection that are available in Europe, Japan, and the United States. This article is also designed to emphasize the industrially important role that securing protections for new plant varieties plays in the world of today, as well as, the world of tomorrow, on both a monetary, as well as, humanitarian level. As the advances made in the biotech arena offers new hope in erasing world hunger, sicknesses, such as AIDS, and pollutants resulting from various industrial processes, I can only hope that the world will continue to embrace, as well as, reinforce the plant protections that are currently available.