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This monograph, commissioned by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, provides an overview of the international legal regime regulating intellectual property rights in plant varieties. It identifies the essential features of this regime, including the policies supporting the grant of intellectual property rights and the societal objectives in tension with those rights, the institutions that have shaped the international intellectual property system, and the provisions contained in the relevant international treaties. The study identifies different sets of policy options for national governments based upon the specific constellation of treaty commitments they have undertaken. It then sets forth regulatory options for those governments to protect plant varieties while achieving other public policy objectives relating to plant genetic resources.