PepsiCo’s IPR on potato variety revoked

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Recently, Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPVFRA) has revoked PepsiCo’s Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) on the potato variety.

PPV-FRA has canceled the Plant Variety Protection (PVP) certificate granted to PepsiCo on the potato variety (FL-2027).

In the year 2019, PepsiCo sued some Indian farmers in Gujarat for cultivating the FC5 potato variety. FC5 has very low moisture content for making snacks like potato chips.

Reasons cited for revocation include lack of relevant information required for registration, mis-information by the company and ultimately the grant being not in the public interest.

The Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Protection Act (PPV-FRA) was enacted in the year 2001. Its objective was to introduce intellectual property rights in Indian agriculture after India joined the World Trade Organization in the year 1995. It has agreed to implement the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

Salient Features of the Act

  • Breeders shall have the exclusive right to produce, sell, market, distribute, import or export a protected variety.
  • Researchers may use any variety registered under this Act for conducting experiments or research.
  • A farmer who has developed a new variety is eligible for registration and protection as a breeder of that variety.
  • Under this decision, the seed freedom of farmers as enshrined in Section 39 of the PPV-FRA Act has been upheld.

Source- The Hindu

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