Issuances of intellectual property rights tools for new crop varieties increased from 1971 to 2020

Bar chart showing number of Plant Variety Protection certificates, plant patents, and utility patents issued between 1971 and 2020.

The U.S. crop seed industry has become more concentrated, with fewer and larger firms dominating seed supply. Seed prices have risen substantially, especially for genetically modified varieties, reflecting the value of improved seed varieties and gains in market power for top seed companies.

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