International IP Rights Regarding Plants Native To India: Texmati = Basmati?

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In the age of global markets and the resulting development of international intellectual property rights, conflicts arise between industrialized nations seeking to develop new products from plants, and developing nations seeking to capitalize on their indigenous flora. One example is the conflict over basmati rice. Long identified as originating in the Indian sub-continent, basmati rice is prized for its distinctive aroma, flavor, and long, slender, fluffy grains. The connection between India and basmati seemed threatened when the United States (“U.S.”) patented Texmati, described as an American basmati rice. The Indian government seeks to have the U.S. revoke the patent as part of its plan to protect its rice industry. This article explores this situation with an eye towards understanding what rights the patent provides Texmati and how it affects, if at all, India’s rice industry.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Frederic Douglas | Attorney Advertising

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