Trade Marks And Patents

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It is my desire to propagate new plants from cuttings and if possible sell them. I am new to all of this so here is the problem that I am facing.
• How does one go about learning which plant varieties are protected by exclusive plant copy or patent rights and which are not?
• What is the difference between a plant that has a Trade Mark TM and one that has a Paten #?
• Are both off limits to propagation or is it only the ones that are patented?


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Answer #3 · Gardenality.com's Answer · I and my brother recently released a new plant. I was told that to patent a plant that the plant had to be created by some process of hybridization by man. Also, as John said, even though a plant is patented others may still grow and sell it under a different name. This is why we chose only to trademark the plant we released.

These days, it's all about branding and promotion. This means choosing a catchy name...which is usually not your name! Once you've trademarked the name no one else can sell the same plant using that name. If someone else is growing the same plant under a different name, then it becomes a race to who can promote and can get the plant on the market.

If you want to introduce a newly trademarked plant to the market, and would like to benefit financially as much as possible, it might help to approach a large-scale grower that can do the necessary promotions as well as grow the plant in large volume, then getting it out to as many land-based and online retailers as quickly as possible.

When doing some research, I noticed that plant breeder Michael Dirr has released many more plants without a patent than ones that had a patent.

Best to ya with any new plant you might introduce!
Brent)


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Ronald Huntley

Ronald Huntley · Gardenality Seed · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
I'm not trying to introduce a new plant, I just want to know what I can and what I cannot propagate for resale from my greenhoust. How does one know what is protected and what is not? Is there a listing some where?

8 years ago ·
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Maple Tree

Maple Tree · Gardenality Genius · Zone 10A · 30° to 35° F
Ronald-There is no easy way to search out plant patents. This is why it is easier sometimes to have a patent attorny do this, but of course for a fee. You can go to the US Patent And Trademark Office on line and start your search there. Many times you can do a patent number search on line and find the plants patent number or the company that has trademarked the name. Just by Google seaching I found the Ever Red Loropetalum is trademarked by Monrovia Nurseries in California. Also if a plant has a valid Plant Patent the patent number must be displayed on a tag at the time of resale and if the patented plant has been reproduced by a nursery it must receive the rights to do this from the indivdual who holds the patent rights.

8 years ago ·
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Gardenality.com

Gardenality.com · Gardenality Genius · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
I would do a Google search to check each plant individually that you want to propagate. Maybe use this type of search term: "Abelia Kaleidoscope, plant patent." This should get you the info you're looking for.

8 years ago ·
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Answer #1 · Maple Tree's Answer · Ronald-In the US, the inventor of a new plant variety can apply for a plant patent. A plant patent holder has the right to decide who can propagate his or her creation. This protection lasts for 20 years from the date of filing the patent application.

If patenting and trademarking a plant is anything like patenting other products I can tell you it can be not only time consuming, but expensive. When all is said and done and your patent is secured there is no guarranntee you are safe from those copying or cloning your plant and selling it. Again the expense to protect your plant may be more than you want to endure. The best thing to do is contact a patent attorney that will take you through the steps correctly. There are some that will give you advice and the proceedures without a charge at a first consulltation. I believe like any product a provisional patent can be obtained to give you time to know wheather the plant you want to propagate will be one that is a new variety and not grown by others.

Searching the internet will give you much information on patents and trademarks. Like I said, I would contact a patent attorney for the information you will need for your particular endevor. Your local County Extension Service would also be of some help. It might also be to your advantage to contact some large plant growing facilities to see what information they may be able to give you to make sure you are staying on the right path towards your goal.

Below I noted a few links you can click on that will explain the difference in patents and trademarks. One also on Plant breeder's rights and what it means when nursery plants at patented of trademarked. Just copy and paste these links in your internet seach to go to this information.

http://www.planthaven.com/pdfs/PatentFAQ.pdf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plant_patent

http://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening/what-does-it-mean-when-nursery-plants-are-patented-or-trademarked

Hope this helps get you started
John)



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Answer #2 · Ronald Huntley's Answer · Thanks John, I think that answers my question. From what I gleamed from the links you provided I assume I cannot propagate new plants from cuttings that are protected by a Plant Patent. However, a plant with only a Trade Mark name is free to be propagated and sold by others so long as they don't use that trademarked name.)


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Maple Tree

Maple Tree · Gardenality Genius · Zone 10A · 30° to 35° F
Your welcome Ronald. I'll check around and see if there are others that can shed a little more light on your question also. Good luck on your project.

8 years ago ·
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