Patent Protection of Plants in AATF Biotechnology Project Countries

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Patent Protection of Plants in AATF Biotechnology Project Countries

Alhaji Tejan-Cole, Legal Counsel, African Agricultural Technology Foundation, Kenya

The basis of this article stems from the evolution of protection of plant biotechnology culminating in the extension of intellectual property rights to plant biotechnology. The World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement has particularly served to ensure protection of plant biotechnology as evidenced by Article 27 which provides for agricultural patents by stipulating that patent protection is available for all inventions in all fields.

Alhaji Tejan-Cole holds a LL.M degree in Legislative Drafting from the University of the West Indies and a LL.M degree in Intellectual Property Law from the University of South Africa. He has served as Legislative Counsel in Sierra Leone and in the Caribbean nation of Belize where he helped draft the country’s World Trade Organization/Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (WTO/TRIPs) implementing legislation. In 2003, he was appointed as Deputy Registrar for Intellectual Property in Belize, a position which he held until his appointment with the African Agricultural Technology Foundation. Alhaji has authored several publications on intellectual property law, and has served as legislative drafting consultant for the World Intellectual Property Organization. He is a citizen of Sierra Leone.

The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) is a foundation designed to facilitate and promote public-private partnerships aimed at removing any barriers that have prevented smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) from gaining access to existing agricultural technologies that could improve food security and reduce poverty. AATF was incorporated in Kenya in April 2003 and operates projects in most of SSA.

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