Intellectual property (IP) is another important issue in the application of genetic engineering for pineapple improvement. Many of the enabling technologies are patented and cannot be used commercially without licence agreements. The Agrobacterium co-cultivation technique for pineapples has been patented, although patents tend to be written quite specifically to cover particular sections of the protocol and are country-specific with an expiry date. The promoters Ubi-1 and 35S are also patented. IP issues may even impede the design of a certain plasmid construct, e.g. patents on using an antisense or co-suppression construct design.
It is generally prudent to be aware of all IP before commencing work that may ultimately infringe the rights of others when commercialized. The issues associated with this are very complex, but must be resolved before transgenic pineapples are grown commercially.
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