Louwaars, N. P., Tripp, R., Eaton, D., Henson-Apollonio, V., Hu, R., Mendoza, M., Muhhuku, F., Pal, S. & Wekundah, J. (2005). Impacts of Strengthened Intellectual Property Rights Regimes on the Plant Breeding Industry in Developing Countries - A Synthesis of Five Case Studies. (Study commissioned by the World Bank). Wageningen, the Netherlands: Center for Genetic Resources. 

In the past few decades the subject of intellectual property rights (IPRs) has occupied center stage in debates about globalization, economic development and poverty elimination. This study concerns the strengthening of IPRs in the plant breeding industry and its effect on agriculture in developing countries. This strengthening is reflected in the growth in the number of countries that grant such rights, an expansion of the types of inventions that can be protected, and a broadening of the scope of protection offered by extant IPR systems. Central to the spread of IPR systems is the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS 1993) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) requiring all WTO members to introduce a minimum level of protection for intellectual property in their national laws; and subsequent bilateral or multilateral trade agreements that call for further strengthening of IPR regimes in developing countries.

The principal objective of this study is to describe and evaluate initial experiences with strengthened IPRs in developing country agriculture, focusing on five case studies. Such an assessment is a prerequisite for the formulation of policy guidelines and ‘good practice’ lessons for implementing IPRs in ways that enhance their impacts on productivity and equity.