This is a recording of a panel presentation followed by a community conversation on the intersection of race, colonialism, and intellectual property rights (IPR) on seed hosted by Organic Seed Alliance on September 15, 2021.
The event explores the ways in which IPR on seed is used as a tool to build and maintain the structure of colonialism, and how communities are fighting back. The panel includes Anjali Vats from University of Pittsburgh School of Law and Ernesto Hernandez from Chapman University. Vats draws on her most recent book, The Color of Creatorship: Intellectual Property, Race, and the Making of Americas, to frame the conversation within the context of IPR, race, and colonialism. Hernandez shares his expertise on the ways these intersections are in play today in Mexican maize and the importation of glyphosate and GMOs from the U.S. Vats and Hernandez leads a participant-driven Q&A focused on both the historical and modern ways in which IPR on seed is an integral tool of colonialism to enclose seed commons, appropriate seed from the communities who steward and rely on it, and commodify seed and germplasm for the benefit and perpetuation of unfettered capitalism.
This panel discussion is part of OSA’s Seed Patent Watch project, which serves as a platform for discussion, research, and policy change related to the misuse and abuse of utility patents on seed.