Although historically the Iraqi Constitution prohibited private ownership of biological resources, the new U.S.-imposed patent law introduces a system of monopoly rights over seeds. Inserted into Iraq’s previous patent law is a whole new chapter on plant variety protection (PVP) that provides for the “protection of new varieties of plants.” PVP is an intellectual property right (IPR) or a kind of patent for plant varieties that gives an exclusive monopoly right with respect to planting material to a plant breeder who claims to have discovered or developed a new variety. So the “protection” in PVP has nothing to do with conservation; rather it refers to safeguarding the commercial interests of private breeders (usually large corporations) claiming to have created the new plants.
To qualify for PVP, plant varieties must comply with the standards of the UPOV3 Convention, which requires each variety to be new, distinct, uniform, and stable. Farmers’ seeds cannot meet these criteria, making PVP-protected seeds the exclusive domain of corporations. The powers granted to plant breeders under this scheme include the exclusive right to produce, reproduce, sell, export, import, and store the protected varieties.
So I repeat -- the IP wars in the US may (on the surface) be about music and movies, but for the rest of the world, it's about the food supply.