Category: 2#Plant Breeding Innovation

How accessible will methods like CRISPR be for plant breeding?

Licenses may be required. Most patent holders have established out-licensing policies and processes. Early developers and institutions have created partnerships with newly-formed companies, or established industry players, to apply and out-license gene editing technologies for medical, agricultural, and industrial applications.  In the case of CRISPR, certain primary patent holders provide free licenses for academic and …

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Will newer gene editing methods make older plant breeding methods obsolete?

No. Plant breeding innovation is a continuum based on accumulated knowledge and experience over hundreds of years. Gene editing is an additional tool in the plant breeder’s toolbox that is used to address global challenges such as climate change. For more information, see the ISF infographic ‘Plant breeders’ response to global challenges’ in the ISF …

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Does regulatory status affect the patentability of plant breeding innovation?

No. The regulatory status for plant breeding innovations, and the resulting products and their patentability are unrelated and governed by separate legislations. These two distinct legal frameworks have different objectives. The objective of any safety assessment regulatory framework is to protect human and animal health and the environment, whereas the patent system is designed to …

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How will patents on plant products made with gene editing methods affect farmers’ ability to save seed?

Whether farmers will be allowed to save seeds of a variety which may be covered by a patent, regardless of whether gene editing was used, will depend entirely on the national legal framework. In some countries where the biological material may be protected by patents, farmers can save seed with or without an obligation to pay …

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How can patents on plant products made with gene editing affect plant breeding?

ISF and its members are committed to creating an environment that fosters innovation and supports the development of tools, such as the International Licensing Platform for vegetables, which serve this purpose. The emergence of plant breeding innovation will not change that. Depending on national patent laws, characteristics resulting from gene editing may or may not …

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How do patents and other intellectual property rights help foster and protect innovation in the seed industry?

Worldwide, many of the patent holders are universities and research institutes. The patent landscape for gene editing is dynamic and rapidly-evolving in key countries and globally. Since the early days of CRISPR, the number of patents has increased.  These patents do not only originate from the United States and Europe, but also from Asia, particularly …

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What are unintended effects? How do they affect safety of the gene edited products?

Unintended effects are changes in a plant’s DNA that occur outside where they are supposed to. These changes are the basis of genetic diversity and occur in nature as well as with all kind of breeding tools. Unlike earlier plant breeding methods, the precision of gene editing allows us to make targeted changes to the …

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Should the products of the latest plant breeding innovations be regulated as GMOs?

The prospect of introducing products of plant breeding innovation into global markets has raised the question of how these products should be regulated. For example, questions have included whether or not some of these products should be assessed and managed under current GMO regulations or whether products produced using plant breeding innovations should be regulated …

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How do plant breeders deliver safe and high quality seeds to farmers?

Plant scientists and breeders have a track record of developing high quality and safe products. A defining feature of modern plant breeding is the extensive and rigorous testing to ensure results that meet breeding objectives for better quality and taste, agronomic performance, climate resilience or harvestability and processing. Most new plant varieties are derived by …

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Who has access to the latest plant breeding innovation tools?

In general, the latest plant breeding tools are available to all plant breeders, including academia and public research institutes, and companies of all sizes, from multinationals to small and medium-sized enterprises. However, whether companies or institutes can actually use them in research and product development depends on their individual management of intellectual property rights, as …

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