Questions and Answers About Plant Patents from Christie, Parker & Hale:
General Info About 35 U.S.C. 161: Plant Patents from FindLaw:
A plant patent is a grant by the government to an inventor (or his heirs or assigns) who has "invented" or discovered and asexually reproduced a distinct and new variety of plant, other than a tuber propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state. This grant gives the plant patent owner the right to exclude others from asexually reproducing the plant or selling or using the plant so reproduced. The purpose of plant patents is to provide incentive for achievement in plant breeding, gardening, and horticulture.
Frequently Asked Questions from PlantPatent.com:
This publication provides a basic and understandable overview of plant patents. It will help prospective plant patent applicants to:
- Identify what types of plants are patentable under the provisions of 35 U.S.C. 161.
- Present the legal requirements for attaining a plant patent in terms which can be understood by attorneys, plant breeders, growers and gardeners.
- Present the formal requirements of an application for plant patents.
- Assist in gathering and organizing sufficient information for preparation of a plant patent application.
- Summarize the typical steps which are performed by the Patent and Trademark Office.
- Indicate where further information can be attained.
A plant patent relates to a living plant which as a product of nature obviously cannot be "made" or "manufactured." In a utility patent (regular patent), the grant confers "the right to exclude others from making, using, or selling" the invention; in a plant patent, the grant confers "the right to exclude others from asexually reproducing the plant or selling or using the plant so reproduced, and parts thereof, as described above.