Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version



Published in Cornhusker Economics, 11/29/2006. Produced by the Cooperative Extension, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


An Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) system is effective when infringers can be identified, successfully sued for damages and deterred from further infringement. The effectiveness of IPRs in plant varieties is limited due to high detection costs of unauthorized use of seed that embodies intellectual property (e.g., genetically modified (GM) seed) and high enforcement costs. Seed companies have traditionally performed limited research and development (R&D) in self-pollinating plants mainly because seed saving limits their ability to recoup their investment.1