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The Makings of a Seed

posted by Richard Cahoon at 2012-10-02 16:58:00


We often shake our heads when we see how high the price is on a single, small technological item, especially when the single item is simple in design or manufacture.  To create modern technical devices, a number of technological solutions are required – solutions that were invented by someone.  Items of modern, technical commerce are amalgams of invention – inventions of design, problem solution, manufacture, packaging, connectivity, etc, etc., - and invention costs money and time.

This is true of seeds and plants as well; modern, high quality crops are technical devices.  Modern breeding requires invention and ingenuity. Adding patentable biotechnology adds to the technical richness of plant devices.  Today, a single plant growing in the field, or a single seed sown,  may comprise several dozen inventions.  In a recent analysis of a single crop plant, I found that a particular plant was covered by at least twenty five patents – owned by fifteen different owners (companies, universities, government agencies), as well as half a dozen bailment-based ownership rights.  All this in a single seed smaller than a pencil eraser!

posted at: 2012-10-02 16:58:00, last updated: 2014-02-09 16:58:56

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