News & Event

Guest lecture on “Are Sustainable Food System Compatible with IPRs?” by Margaret Sova McCabe


Symbiosis Law School, Pune organized a Guest Lecture on “Are Sustainable Food System Compatible with IPRs?” by Margaret Sova McCabe, who is an Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, School of Law, University of North Hampshire. She is an expert faculty in the areas of Administrative Process and Agriculture and Food Law. The guest lecture was organized on 15th February 2017 and was attended by 50 Students.


Following were the important aspects covered by the resource person during the guest lecture:

  • Food security is critical to the future
  • Climate change, population growth require innovation and technology
  • Food systems are governed by complex laws and policies
  • To create sustainable food systems, law must reconcile the competing interests of plant breeders input manufacturers, farmers, processors, distributors and consumers
  • Intellectual Property Rights and Agriculture – Examples of Patents, Plant Varieties Law, Trademarks, Geographical indications and Copyright in Agriculture
  • IPR Issues in Sustainable Food Systems
    • Morality/ethics of living things (Patents)
    • Cultural heritage and knowledge (All IPRs)
    • Agricultural and Food Economy (All IPRs)
    • Safety (post-IPR grant)*
    • Different regulatory approaches globally (harmonization/protection)
      • US Coordinated Framework
      • EU (and India) Precautionary Principal

The concluding points mentioned by the resource person were 

  • Sustainable food systems are required if we are to feed ourselves
    • Innovation is necessary for increased yields, particularly in light of climate change (drought, sea level rise, temperature changes)
  • IPRs are an important component of innovation
    • Incentivizing new plants that can survive and thrive is essential