In 1991, Canada became a member of the International Union for the Protection of New Plant Varieties (UPOV). To further incentivize plant breeding research and development, Canada updated its plant breeders’ rights framework in 2015 to become compliant with UPOV-91 (the latest Act of the Treaty). This article reports the results of a survey assessing the impacts of UPOV-91 on Canadian plant breeders, and their knowledge and openness to move to a DNA-based plant registry system. Canada’s adoption of UPOV-91 has not had a significant effect on public plant breeding programs; however, it is not expected to facilitate additional public sector innovation investments as envisioned.
Key words: Innovation, intellectual property rights, plant breeders’ rights, R&D, research funding, Union for the Protection of New Plant Varieties (UPOV).
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