The Reformation of Legal Regime for Intellectual Property Protection of Plant Varieties in Thailand
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Thailand’s plant protection regime presents a unique sui generis plant protection system, which is used as a model by several developing nations. The current Thai Plant Variety Protection (PVP) law has attracted some criticism, and whether or not farmers and breeders actually benefit from the system is in doubt. The questions this situation raises are: has Thailand adopted clear, coherent, and workable rules for plant variety protection in response to the needs of the nation? Is the introduction of intellectual property rights (IPRs) in agriculture via a PVP regime a desirable and contributory factor to the development of Thailand? More precisely, how might such an IPR regime be made compatible with Thailand’s development needs, bearing in mind the obligations the country has accepted through its membership of the WTO and adherence to the TRIPS Agreement? This thesis attempts to address these questions. By highlighting the salient features of the Thai plant protection regime, this thesis addresses the major concerns of the rights of farmers, local communities, and plant breeders. It is suggested that the protection of plant varieties is vital to Thailand, considering the fact that agriculture represents a fundamental economic activity and the livelihood of a large section of the total population; therefore, introducing IPRs in agriculture via the PVP regime is critical to the development of agriculture in Thailand. Thus, a new developmental approach to the IP protection of plant varieties is desirable to ensure the unique needs of the nation the validity of national legislation, and the long-term promotion of agricultural development and sustainability in Thailand. Thailand can provide a more coherent framework for plant variety protection by carefully calibrating the PVP provisions and establishing a coherent set of rules in the form of a new legislative framework. It is concluded that a number of possible elements are available from a variety of instruments that exist in international law, notably the TRIPS Agreement, the UPOV Convention, the CBD, and the ITPGRFA. Lastly, the proposed regulatory reforms suggest that Thailand’s PVP provisions should be amended in three major areas, including (1) provisions for the rights of farmers and local societies, (2) legal protection for plant breeders’ rights, and (3) institutional apparatus governing plant protection issues in Thailand.
- Theses