New Open Source License For Seeds

Monika Ermert | Intellectual Property Watch | April 28, 2017

The Germany-based OpenSourceSeeds initiative this month started to offer open source-licensed seeds in an effort to strengthen a form of copyleft for new plant varieties. The goal, according to the organisation established by academics, activists and breeders and establish a non-private seed sector as a second pillar alongside private plant breeding.

At an event Tuesday in Berlin, hosted by OpenSource Seeds organiser, the Association for AgriCulture and Ecology (AGRECOL e.V) and the German NGO Forum on Environment and Development, the first two open-sourced seeds were presented, the tomato Sunviva (Lycopersicon esculentum L.) and the spring/summer wheat “Convento C”.

To make seeds open source was a necessary answer to the increasing market concentration and resulting reduction in genetic diversity in plant varieties. The lack of varieties and spread of uniform cropping systems over large areas present a risk for global food and nutrition security, according to the OpenSourceSeeds initiative...