In the U.S., plant breeders can obtain three types of intellectual property protection for their new plant varieties:
- Plant Patents – These are issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for plants that are reproduced asexually
- Plant Variety Protection – This is issued by the Plant Variety Protection Office (PVPO) for seeds, asexually reproduced plants and tubers
- Utility Patents – These are issued by the USPTO for genes, traits, plant parts, varieties, and cultivation and other methods
At Metrolex IP, our intellectual property attorneys can help plant breeders apply for any of the types of protection.
What Is Plant Variety Protection?
The U.S. Plant Variety Protection Act (PVPA) offers a form of patent protection for sexually reproduced, asexually reproduced and tuber-propagated varieties of plants that are new, uniform, stable and distinct. Plant Variety Protection is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture via Certificates of Protection.
Enacted by Congress in 1970, the aim of the PVPA is to promote the development of new crop varieties and make them available to the public while giving developers the ability to protect the reproduction of their plant varieties.
Our Plant Variety Protection Services
To apply for a PVP certificate, an application must be prepared and filed, which includes:
- General Applicant Information, such as the name of the owner and the plant variety
- Origin and Breeding History, with information about the breeding methodology and parentage of the plant that can be used to determine if the variety can be considered new
- Statement of Distinctness, with claims supporting the differences between the new variety and every previously known variety
- Variety Descriptive Information outlining very scientifically detailed and specific quantitative and qualitative characteristics of the new variety to compare against the current most similar variety
- Optional Additional Information, such as charts, photos, and data tables related to the new variety
- Statement of the Basis of Ownership, which confirms the name of the owner and plant
Our attorneys at Metrolex IP Law Group can help ensure that the quite complicated paperwork associated with a plant variety protection application is completed accurately to avoid delays and increase the chances of successfully receiving a Certificate of Protection.
Naming The Plant
Applicants must provide a name for their variety that does not conflict with any existing names. A variety name clearance from the Seed Regulatory and Testing Division must be submitted with the application. Metrolex IP Law Group can help you secure this crucial document.
Applicants must also deposit a seed or plant tissue for tuber and asexually propagated varieties following the requirements set out by the USDA. Our attorneys can guide you through this complex process. It should also be noted that the minimum pendency for a plant variety application is 1.5 years, which enables the USDA to grow out a sample crop and assess the actual characteristics against those specified in the application.
Enforcing The Plant Variety Protection Act
The PVPA grants the owners of protected varieties the right to pursue damages for lost royalties if another party participates in the sale of the protected varieties without authorization. Our attorneys can help you file lawsuits against infringers and collect damages.
Contact The Experienced Intellectual Property Attorneys At Metrolex IP Law Group
It is imperative for anyone seeking a Plant Variety Protection Act certificate or a plant patent to work with a skilled intellectual property attorney who is familiar with these types of protection.
At Metrolex IP, our patent attorneys can provide guidance throughout this highly technical process. Contact us today to find out how we can help you move forward in this crucial process.