protection and utility patents for new varieties of plants
Plant patents are granted to inventors who invent or discover an asexually reproduced, distinct and new variety of plant in a cultivated area, other than a tuber-propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state. Plants include living plant organisms, sprouts, mutants, seedlings, hybrids, algae and micro fungi. Protection in the U.S. lasts 20 years from the filing date and bestows the right to exclude others from asexually reproducing, selling or using the plant.
To be patentable, the plant must have at least one distinguishing characteristic and cannot have been sold, released, described in a publication or offered for sale in the U.S. more than one year prior to the date of the application. Your plant can also achieve utility patent protection if the application meets traditional patentability requirements.
At Gearhart Law, we have extensive experience with plant patents, plant variety protection, utility patents for genetically modified plants and can also help in the contractual protection of plant seeds. We help breeders secure exclusive control over new, distinct, uniform and stable, sexually reproduced or tuber-propagated plant varieties.
Since the United States is a signatory to the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) of the World Trade Organization treaty, Gearhart Law can work with foreign associates in other jurisdictions to secure your international plant rights under the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants, an international treaty governing plant breeders' rights.