Patent Peeves

Recently, a strange thought occurred to me that patenting and fencing could be used in tandem in the context of plant patenting…

“Trading of patented material is unlawful and is strictly forbidden”: in simple words, vegetative propagation prohibited.

The dictionary meaning of “fencing”, on the other hand, is “a means of protection”, “a barrier made of posts and wire or boards”, “to ward off”, “to keep in or out with a fence”; in effect a means of defense.

Pray, how does a vegetative plant stop propagating? Would fencing work towards prevention of plant propagation? Build a barrier to prevent escape or intrusion… would that work, I doubt it. Fencing is synonymous with patenting… stretching it too far?

One can protect one’s property from the world at large trespassing on it, but how does one enforce patent protection for a plant type a horticulturist came up with?! This also seems in some ways a case of the “exclusion” culture, reminiscent of “close clubs”. In an era where on one hand, the world’s getting smaller, individuals, groups and nations are creating new barriers to separate the haves from the have-nots. Practitioners of law are having a field day and laughing all the way to the bank.

Green fingers, have something to say on this?


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