Category Archives: Plant Variety Protection

Patent Plant Variety Protection

The RSS involvement in the Monsanto-Nuziveedu dispute and a reticent Bloomberg-Quint editor


In a special investigative report published on March 28, 2017 Reuters revealed the role being played by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in the IP dispute between Monsanto and Nuziveedu. For readers not familiar with the RSS, it is the ideological parent of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Although the RSS claims that it is only a “cultural” body not involved in politics, there is little doubt that the BJP or the Prime Minister (who was a member of the…


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Patent Plant Variety Protection

Monsanto vs. Indian Seed Companies: Enforcement of Rejected Patent Claims?


We are pleased to bring to you a guest post by Mr. Essenese Obhan. Mr. Obhan is the Managing Partner of Obhan & Associates, a reputed IP law firm in Delhi. We had earlier published two guest posts by him here and here. Monsanto vs. Indian Seed Companies: Enforcement of Rejected Patent Claims? Essense Obhan As has already been reported on SpicyIP and the mainstream media, Monsanto and Indian seed companies are involved in a series of lawsuits against each other…


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Patent Plant Variety Protection

The Plant Variety Authority and Bt Cotton: A Case of Regulatory Capture?


We are happy to bring to you a guest post by Mr. Essenese Obhan. Mr. Obhan is the Managing Partner of Obhan & Associates, a reputed IP law firm in Delhi. He has both a law and an engineering degree, and has been consistently ranked by multiple international agencies as one of India’s leading patent attorneys. He has extensive expertise in the mechanical, industrial, software, telecoms and agriculture sectors. He is involved in drafting and prosecuting patents, as also in…


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Plant Variety Protection

In a Well Reasoned Judgment, Delhi High Court Strikes Down Section 24(5) of Plant Varieties Act


In a significant judgment delivered earlier this month, a Division Bench of the Delhi High Court struck down Section 24(5) of the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act (“PPVFRA”) on the ground that it gives uncanalized power to the Registrar of Plant Varieties to grant interim relief to a breeder whose application for the registration of a plant variety is under consideration. Authored by Justice Ravindra Bhat, the judgment stands out for the Court’s lucid articulation of the…


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Biological Diversity Geographical Indication Plant Variety Protection Traditional Knowledge

Rice & IP: The ongoing Basmati imbroglio, the ‘Green Rice’ mystery & the IR8 celebrations


Over the last year with the Monsanto-Nuziveedu dispute, India has witnessed one of its biggest IP disputes in the agricultural sector. The Basmati GI dispute also has huge implication but as I’m reminded, often, by several people, geographical indications (GI) do not qualify as IP. These disputes aside, we’ve also come across two other very interesting cases of green rice and IR8 celebrations. Basmati rice – When did geography become an issue? As we’ve written earlier on SpicyIP, there is…


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Patent Plant Variety Protection

NSAI Writes to American Ambassador; Calls for Stringent Action Against Monsanto


On this Blog, we have extensively covered the Bt cotton saga involving Monsanto and Indian seed companies [see here, here, here, here and here]. The Indian seed companies have been represented in this legal struggle principally by the National Seeds Association of India (NSAI) whose strategy, aimed at freeing the commercializing of Bt cotton from the shackles imposed by Monsanto, was explained by Prashant with remarkable lucidity here. To briefly recapitulate, the NSAI argues that, while no one can cavil…


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Overlaps in IP Patent Plant Variety Protection

The Seed(y) Saga: Who Makes Law in India?


Well, if Prabhakar Rao’s response to my op-ed in the Hindu is anything to go by, it would appear that is the executive (govt) that makes law in India. Never mind that the constitution says otherwise; and vests this power with our Parliament! Mr Rao clearly has his own constitutional handbook, drawing from which he notes: “As clarified by the government in the IPR Policy 2016, only the PPVFR Act, 2001 governs IP rights for transgenic varieties.” Firstly, whatever be…


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Plant Variety Protection

Govt. Appoints Nuziveedu Chairperson to PVPFR Authority


The ET recently reported that the Ministry of Agriculture has appointed Prabhakar Rao, Chairman of Nuziveedu Seeds to the Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (“Authority”), a statutory body that is created under Section 3 of the Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001 (PVPFRA). As per this provision, the Authority is to consist of 15 members plus a chairperson, all of whom are appointed by the Central Government. This provision also requires the Central Government to appoint one representative…


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Patent Plant Variety Protection

Patent Punches over Bt Cotton (Monsanto vs Nuziveedu): Bt it or Eat it?


My short take in the Hindu on the Bt Cotton Wars and the misplaced notion that the Plant Varieties Act trumps the Patents Act. I argue that both co-exist and one does not trump the other. Our previous posts from Prashant and Rahul also make the same point, in different ways. At the end of the piece, I’ve also recommended that the government consider the delightfully creative “eat the beetle” strategy advocated by maverick scientists in Assam, as below: “Shouldn’t…


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Plant Variety Protection

GM Mustard: Of the Lack of Transparency and ‘Confidentiality’ of Biosafety Data


The Central Information Commission (CIC) directed the Environment Ministry to release all data relating to the bio-safety of GM Mustard by an order in April following a RTI application filed by Ms. Kavitha Kuruganti (the ‘Appellant’). The application sought information regarding the field trials of GM Mustard, which the Ministry refused to disclose on grounds of confidentiality. The Ministry is yet to comply with the order in question, but on Tuesday released a safety assessment report stating that GM Mustard…


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