The Open Source Seed Initiative aims to restore the common practice of open sharing among gardeners by keeping seeds in the public domain and protect them from future patents.
In an effort to “free the seeds” from patenting, licensing, and other intellectual property protections, the Open Source Seed Initiative aims to restore the formerly common practice of open sharing among growers, by keeping certain vegetable seeds in the public domain and protecting them (and any future varieties derived from them) from being patented in the future.
“These vegetables are part of our common cultural heritage, and our goal is to make sure these seeds remain in the public domain for people to use in the future.” – Irwin Goldman, UW-Madison horticulture professor and plant breeder
The Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI) has been working to reverse the trend of decreasing availability of plant germplasm (seeds) that plant breeders and farmers can work with, which greatly restricts the pool of genetic resources available to those working toward more diversity in agricultural seeds.
OSSI has been working on this important issue since 2011, and this past month released a number of crop seeds under an Open Source Seed Pledge that states that the seeds can be “freely used, sold, bred, and shared, but not legally restricted.”