Ideology of the Commons and Property Rights: Who Owns Plant Genetic Resources and the Associated Traditional Knowledge?

  • Chika B. Onwuekwe
Part of the The International Library of Environmental, Agricultural and Food Ethics book series (LEAF, volume 11)


Intellectual Property Traditional Knowledge Indigenous Knowledge Plant Genetic Resource Patent Protection 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Antarctic Treaty, concluded in Washington DC, on 1 December 1959, entered into force on 23 June 1961, reprinted in 40 UNTS 71Google Scholar
  2. Aoki K (1998) Nationalism, anticommons property, and Biopiracy in the (Not-So-Brave) new world order of international intellectual property Protection 6 Ind. J. Global Leg. Stud. 11. Retrieved from: Scholar
  3. Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States (1974) Article 3Google Scholar
  4. Battiste M, Henderson JY (2000) Protecting indigenous knowledge and heritage: a global challenge. Purich, SaskatoonGoogle Scholar
  5. Becker DC, Elinor O (1995) Human ecology and resource sustainability: the importance of institutional diversity. Annual review of ecology and systematics, vol 26. pp 113–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Blakeney M (2001) Intellectual property aspects of traditional agricultural knowledge. In: Drahos P, Blakeney M (eds) IP Biodiversity and agriculture: regulating the biosphere. Sweet and Maxwell, LondonGoogle Scholar
  7. Brownlie I (1998) Principles of public international law, 5th edn. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  8. Busch L, Lacy WB, Burkhardt J, Lacy LR (1991) Plants, power and profit: social, economic, and ethical consequences of the new Biotechnologies. Basil Blackwell, Cambridge MA and OxfordGoogle Scholar
  9. Carr CL (ed) (1994) The political writings of Samuel Pufendorf. trans. by Seidler MJ. Oxford University Press OxfordGoogle Scholar
  10. Convention on Biological Diversity. Article 2(2). available online: convention/articles.asp checked 1993Google Scholar
  11. Crucible II Group (2000) Seedling solutions: policy options for genetic resources (people, plants, and patents revisited), vol 1. IDRC & IPGRI, online version, Ottawa & RomeGoogle Scholar
  12. Dietz T, Elinor O, Stern PC (2003) The struggle to govern the commons, Science,12/12/2003, vol 302 Issue 5652. pp 1907–1912CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Drahos P (1996) A philosophy of intellectual property. Dartmouth, AldershotGoogle Scholar
  14. Dutfield G (1999) Protecting and revitalising traditional ecological knowledge: intellectual property rights and community knowledge databases in India. In: Blakeney M (ed) Intellectual property aspects of Ethnobiology. Sweet & Maxwell,LondonGoogle Scholar
  15. Dutfield G (2001a) Indigenous peoples, Bioprospecting, and the TRIPS Agreement: threats and opportunities. In: Drahos P, Blakeney M (eds) IP in biodiversity and agriculture: regulating the biosphere. Sweet and Maxwell, LondonGoogle Scholar
  16. Dutfield G (2001b) TRIPS-related aspects of traditional knowledge. Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law 33(2) JIL 233-275Google Scholar
  17. Engle E (2004) Economic theory of Law and the public domain: when is piracy economically desirable. available online: Scholar
  18. Epstein RA (1994)On the optimal mix of private and common property 11 social philosophy and policy 17. reprinted in Epstein RA (ed) Private and common property. Garland, New York & LondonGoogle Scholar
  19. Epstein RA (2000) Possession as the root of title. In: Epstein RA (ed) Private and common property. Garland, New York & LondonGoogle Scholar
  20. Evenson RE (1999) Intellectual property rights, access to plant germplasm, and crop production scenarios in 2020’’ (1999) 39 Crop Science 1630CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Eyzaguirre P, Evan D (2003) The impacts of collective action and property rights on plant genetic resources – being a paper prepared for the CAPRi-IPGRI workshop on Property rights, collective action and local conservation of genetic resources (in Rome), available online: Scholar
  22. Federal Court Trial (FCT) 256 (2001) available online: The Supreme Court of Canada’s judgment on this landmark case is reported in Monsanto Canadav. Schmeiser[2004] 1 S.C.R. 902.Google Scholar
  23. Food and Agriculture Organization, International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources. 1983 Available online: Scholar
  24. Fowler C, Smale M, Gaiji S (2001) Unequal exchange? Recent transfers of the agricultural resources and their implications for developing countries. Development Policy Review 19(2):181–204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. GATT/WTO (1995) Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs), which came into effect on January 1, 1995.Google Scholar
  26. Gertler ME (1998) Biotechnology and social issues in rural agricultural communities: identifying the issues. In: Hardy RWF, Segelken JB, Voionmaa M (eds) Resource management in challenged environment. NABC, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  27. Ghijsen H (1998) Plant variety protection in a developing and demanding world. Biotechnology and Development Monitor 36:2–5Google Scholar
  28. Gibbs CJN, Bromley DW (1989) Institutional arrangements for management of rural resources: common property regimes. In: Berkes F (ed) Common property resources: ecology and community-based sustainable development. Belhaven Press,LondonGoogle Scholar
  29. Goldstein D (1988) Molecular biology and the protection of germplasm: a matter of national security. In: Kloppenburg JR (ed) Seeds and sovereignty: the use and control of plant genetic resources. Duke University Press, DurhamGoogle Scholar
  30. Gray K (1991) Property in thin air. Cambridge L J 50:253–256Google Scholar
  31. Greenpeace Canada (2002) New report exposes multiple threats if GE wheat approved available online:b Scholar
  32. Grotius H (1925) De Jure Belli Ac Pacis Libre Tres, trans. by Kelsey FW (1964). Wildy, New York & OceaniaGoogle Scholar
  33. Hardin G (1993) The tragedy of the commons. In: Daly HE, Townsend KN (eds) Valuing the earth: economics, ecology, and ethics. The MIT Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  34. Harris JW (2001) Property and justice. Oxford University Press, Oxford & New YorkGoogle Scholar
  35. Heller M (1998) Tragedy of the anticommons: property in the transition from Marx to markets. Harv L Rev 11: 621CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Hughes J (1988) The philosophy of intellectual property. Geo L 77:287Google Scholar
  37. International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV Convention) (1978) as amended in March 1991, and 1996, respectively. Online at: http://www/upov.intGoogle Scholar
  38. Kelly D, Michelman F (1980) Are property and contract efficient? Hofstra L Rev 8:711Google Scholar
  39. Kloppenburg JR, Kleinman DL (1988) Seeds of controversy: National property versus common heritage. In: Kloppenburg JR (ed) Seeds and sovereignty: the use and control of genetic resources. Duke University Press, Durham & LondonGoogle Scholar
  40. KloppenburgJR (1988) First the seed: the political economy of plant biotechnology, 1492–2000. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge & New YorkGoogle Scholar
  41. Kloppenburg J, Kleinman DL (1987) The plant germplasm controversy. BioScience 37(3):190–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Knorr K (1973) Power and wealth: the political economy of international power. Basic Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  43. Krasner SD (2000) State power and the structure of international trade. In:Friedman JA, Lake DA (eds) International political economy: perspectives on global power and wealth. Bedford/St.Martin’s, Boston & New YorkGoogle Scholar
  44. Laslett P (ed) (1960) Two treatises of government: a critical edition . Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  45. Lesser W (2000)Intellectual property rights under the convention on biological diversity. In: Santiello V, Evenson RE, Zilberman D,Carlson GA (eds) Agriculture and intellectual property rights: economic, institutional and implementation issues in Biotechnology. CABI, LondonGoogle Scholar
  46. Locke J (2001) Two treatises of government. In: Pecora VP (ed) Nations and identities: classic readings. Blackwell, Malden, MAGoogle Scholar
  47. Low A (2001) The third revolution: plant genetic resources in developing countries and China: global village or global pillage? In: Kinsler J et al (eds) International trade and business law annual. Cavendish, Newport, New South WalesGoogle Scholar
  48. Marchak MP (1998) Who owns natural resources in the United States and Canada? University of Wisconsin, Madison, Land Tenure CentreGoogle Scholar
  49. Mgbeoji I (2002) Patents and plant resources-related knowledge: towards a regime of communal patents for plant resources-related knowledge. In: Islam N et al. (eds) Environmental law in developing countries: selected issues. IUCN, Bonn, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  50. Mgbeoji I (2001) Patents and traditional knowledge of the uses of plants: Is a communal patent regime part of the solution to the scourge of bio piracy? Ind J Global Legal Stud 9:163–186Google Scholar
  51. Morck R, Yeung B (2001) The economic determinants of innovation, Industry Canada Research Publications No. 25Google Scholar
  52. Moschini G (2003) Intellectual property rights and the World Trade Organization: retrospect and prospects. Working Paper 03-WP 334, also available online: CARD website: www.card.iastate.eduGoogle Scholar
  53. Mossoff A (2003) What is property? Putting the pieces back together. Ariz L Rev 45:371Google Scholar
  54. Murphy SD (2001) Biotechnology and international Law. Harv Int’l l J 42 :47Google Scholar
  55. Onwuekwe CB (2004) The commons concept and intellectual property rights regime: Whither plant genetic resources and traditional knowledge? Pierce 2(1) Law Review 65–90Google Scholar
  56. Ostrom, E.(2004)Understanding Collective Action. In Ruth N. Meinzen - Dick and Monica Di Gregorio, Collective Action and Property Rights for Sustainable Development. brief 2.2020 Four service, No.11, Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute.Google Scholar
  57. Ostrom, E.(1999) Coping with Tragedies of the commons. Annual Review of Political Science2,pp. 493–535CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Peters PE (1987) Embedded systems and rooted models: the grazing lands of botswana and the commons Debate. In: MaCay BJ, Acheson JM (eds) The Question of the Commons: the Culture and Ecology of Communal Resources. The University of Arizona Press, Tucson, AZGoogle Scholar
  59. Phillips P (2001) Will biotechnology feed the sorld’s hungry? Int’l J 56(4):665–677Google Scholar
  60. Phillips PWB, Khachatourians GG (2001) Approaches to and measurement of innovation. In: Phillips PWB, Khachatourians GG (eds) The Biotechnology revolution in global agriculture: invention, innovation and investment in the Canola sector. CABI, Oxon & New YorkGoogle Scholar
  61. Pistorius R, van Wijk J (1999) The exploitation of plant genetic information: political strategies in crop development. CABI, Oxon & New YorkGoogle Scholar
  62. Posey DA, Dutfield G (1996) Beyond intellectual property: toward traditional resource rights for indigenous peoples and local communities. IDRC, OttawaGoogle Scholar
  63. P.L. (Public Law) 91-577. 1970. Plant Variety Protection Act, 84 Stat. 1542–1559Google Scholar
  64. RAFI (1996) Enclosures of the mind: intellectual monopolies. IDRC, OttawaGoogle Scholar
  65. Rhoades RE, Nazarea VD (1999) Local management of biodiversity in traditional agroecosystems. In: Collins WW, Qualset CO (eds) Biodiversity in agroecosystems. CRS Press, London & New YorkGoogle Scholar
  66. Rose CM (1986) The comedy of the commons: customs, commerce, and inherently public property. U Chi L Rev 53:711CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Scotchmer S (1991) Standing on the shoulders of giants: cumulative research and the patent law. J Econ Perspect 5:29Google Scholar
  68. Sedjo RA (1988) Property rights and the protection of plant genetic resources. In: Kloppenburg JR (ed) Seeds and sovereignty: the use and control of plant genetic resources. Duke University Press, Durham & LondonGoogle Scholar
  69. Shavell S, van Ypersele T (1998) Rewards versus intellectual property rights available online: Scholar
  70. Shaw MN (1997) International Law, 4th edn. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge & New YorkGoogle Scholar
  71. Shiva V (1991) The violence of green revolution. Zed Books, LondonGoogle Scholar
  72. Shiva V (1993) Monocultures of the mind: perspectives on biodiversity and Biotechnology. Zed Books, New JerseyGoogle Scholar
  73. Shiva V (1997) Biopiracy: the plunder of nature and knowledge.Between the Lines, TorontoGoogle Scholar
  74. Stenson AA, Gray TS (1999) The politics of genetic resource control. St. Martins Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  75. Strange S (1994) States and markets, 2nd edn. Pinter, London &New YorkGoogle Scholar
  76. Townsend R, Wilson J (1987) An economic view of the tragedy of the commons. In: McCay B, Acheson J (eds) The questions of the commons–the culture and ecology of communal resources. University of Arizona Press, USAGoogle Scholar
  77. Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs). TRIPS Article 27.1 of the Agreement. Available online: Scholar
  78. Tully J (1980) A discourse on property: John Locke and his adversaries. Cambridge University Press Cambridge & New YorkGoogle Scholar
  79. UN General Assembly, Twenty-Eighth Session, Resolution 3129 XXVIII (1973) Cooperation in the field of the environment concerning natural resources shared by two or more States. Available online: Scholar
  80. UNCLOS (with Annex V), Art. 137, concluded at Montego Bay, 10 December 1982, and entered into force on 16 November 1994. UN Doc. A/CONF.62/122; reprinted in (1982) 21 I.L.M. 1261Google Scholar
  81. United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED)(1992) Rio de JaneiroGoogle Scholar
  82. Utuama AA (1991) Customary Law and land use act. In: Osinbajo Y, Kalu AU (eds) Towards a restatement of Nigerian customary Laws. Federal Ministry of Justice, LagosGoogle Scholar
  83. Wallerstein (1991) Geopolitics and geoculture: essays on the changing world–system. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge &New YorkGoogle Scholar
  84. Wallerstein I (2000) The modern world–system. In: Garner R (ed) Social theory: continuity and confrontation –A reader. Broadview Press, OntarioGoogle Scholar
  85. Wallerstein I (2001) The end of the world as we know it: social science for the twenty-first century. University of Minnesota Press MinneapolisGoogle Scholar
  86. World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) (1999) Report on fact-finding missions on intellectual property and traditional knowledge. available online: ffm/report/final/index.htmlGoogle Scholar
  87. Zilberman D, Yarkin C, Heiman A (1998) Institutional change and Biotechnology in agriculture: implications for developing countries. In: Smale M (ed) Farmers, gene banks and crop breeding: economic analysis of diversity in wheat, maize, and rice. Kluwer Academic, Boston & LondonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chika B. Onwuekwe
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CalgaryCanada

Personalised recommendations