Plant Breeders' Rights in Egypt: A Critical Analysis of Law 26/2015
Lecturer in law,
Iraq, 41 Charlesworth Street,
The aim of this paper is to provide an in-depth analysis of the main features of Law 26/2015. It examines the extent to which Law 26/2015 is in line with the interest of Egypt, specifically its contribution to agricultural development in Egypt which according to its 2014 Constitution, the Egyptians’ rights to adequate food and sustainable agriculture are preserved. In doing so, this paper compares breeders’ rights under Law 26/2015 to those granted under the Law 82/2002 on the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights, in order to capture shifting objectives of the legislation in the last two decades.
Remarkable efforts have been made in Egypt to integrate plant-related concerns into legislative and policy frameworks in order to protect plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. However, the broad scope of protection provided in Law 26/2015 raises serious concerns about agriculture and food security in a country that suffers from critical food shortages. It strengthens breeders’ rights by extending their rights to harvested material, and provides for the protection of essentially derived varieties within the scope of the exclusive rights of the breeders. Law 26/2015 demonstrates how the critical aspects of introducing plant breeder rights system in a farmer dominated agricultural system were neglected.
For a developing country like Egypt, policy, practical and development implications of acceding to free trade agreements especially those including TRIPs-plus commitments should be considered. Demands for ‘bread freedom and social justice’ of the 2011 revolution and the following uprisings have been a call for real development- one that encompasses social justice coupled with environmental sustainability and economic development.
Association Agreement with the European Union, Egyptian IP law, farmers rights, law 26/2015, Plant Breeders’ right, sustainable agriculture in Egypt, the right to food in the 2014 Egyptian constitution, TRIPs, UPOV91.