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The study provides an overview of the international intellectual property system regulating plant varieties. It identifies the essential features of this system, including the policies supporting the grant of intellectual property rights (IPRs) and the societal objectives in tension with IPRs, the institutions that have shaped the international intellectual property system, and the basic components contained in the relevant international treaties. The study aims to set forth regulatory options for national governments to protect plant varieties while achieving other public policy objectives relating to plant genetic resources.

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