Welfare trade-offs between intellectual property (IP) protections provided by patents and by plant variety protection (PVP) are explored. PVP breeders’ exemption weakens IP protection, but may speed the transfer of research gains across firms. A model is developed assuming firms optimise research given existing IP protection. A baseline scenario supporting each system is used to perform welfare analysis, and study how the balance is altered between systems. Survey data suggest patents are more appropriate for longer-term, higher-risk research, whereas PVP is better suited for traditional breeding. A scenario where patents and licensing co-exist dominates PVP in all commercially relevant areas.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/dermot_hayes/130/