In this chapter we present an overview of the globally evolving structure of funding and performance of agricultural research. This establishes the special nature of agricultural research as a truly joint endeavor of North and South, and of the public and private sectors. We then sketch the economics of intellectual property protection - highlighting static and dynamic models and the effects of competition - and alternative incentives to innovate. A brief list of means that have been used or proposed for protecting intellectual property in agriculture is presented, followed by a discussion of the ongoing global evolution of the intellectual property environment and relevant institutions. Then we discuss instruments that are available for transacting intellectual property rights (IPRs), provide a quantitative view of trends in agricultural intellectual property protection worldwide, and end with a short conclusion.
Series: Handbooks in Economics 18