New publication: PVP in Africa goes beyond UPOV 1991 requirements

(From the Abstract) The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) has traditionally been skeptical toward the African Intellectual Property Organization's (OAPI) approval in 1999 of a plant variety protection that was compatible with UPOV 1991, a convention adopted by the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants. Recently, however, ARIPO has been rushing through a plant variety protection (PVP) protocol, that in April 2014 was found by the UPOV Council to be in conformity with UPOV 1991. The article draws upon theories identifying under which conditions secretariats of international organizations (IOs) are able to operate without too stringent supervision and control by states. These theories goes beyond standars principal-agent theories, identifying IOs that regulate issues requiring high levels of expertise. Based on this general model, the article investigates both the process and the outcome of the ARIPO Arusha PVP Protocol. It finds that the interests of breeders prevail, while farmers’ organizations and organizations promoting the public interest are to a large extent sidelined from the negotiations. The article then analyzes the content of the recently adopted Tanzanian Plant Breeders Rights Act, noting that several provisions go beyond the UPOV 1991 requirements. The article calls for the more flexible approach of the TRIPS Agreement.



Hans Morton Haugen (2015) Inappropriate Processes and Unbalanced Outcomes: Plant Variety Protection in Africa Goes Beyond UPOV 1991 Requirements. In: Journal of World Intellectual Property, Volume 18, Issue 5, pages 196–216, September 2015