The PlumpyField Network: Using Patents and Trade Marks to Promote Food Security
16 April 2014, CGIAR Master Class, Jay Sanderson
One of the key ideas that underpins the CGIAR IA Principles is that intellectual property protection can only ever be used where it furthers the goals of CGIAR. This master class looked at one situation where patent and trade mark protection has been used to improve food security. While not part of the CGIAR, Nutriset's PlumpyField global supply network is an instance in which patents and trade marks are being used strategically in the fight against hunger, malnutrition and food insecurity. More specifically the PlumpyField network is an example of how patents and trade marks can be used to encourage and support local participation in the manufacture and distribution of food-related research and products.
The PlumpyField network, therefore, provides an example of a type of situation where access to CGIAR research may be limited (by registering or allowing third parties to register intellectual property on Center intellectual assets) to promote food security. Registering and using intellectual property in this way has a number of potential benefits including creating a local presence, building local capacity, facilitating access to food and nutritional products, and ensuring the quality of research outputs.