Those in the field of plant science and plant research including plant breeders, research scientists, and managers, know of the amazing complexity and beauty of plant biology and plant products. Plant-based inventions can be very valuable, and it is important to determine the best options to protect these inventions. In the US there are several ways to provide intellectual property protection for a plant-based invention. The “Utility Patent” can be used to protect a wide variety of plant-related inventions, such as plant genes, transgenic plants, mutants, promoters, transgenic plants, plant transformation methods, plant varieties and hybrids, assay methods, breeding methods, isolation methods, processing methods, biofuel production methods, packaging methods, harvesting methods, and the like. Plant Patents provide protection for asexually propagated plant varieties. In the U.S., the Plant Variety Protection Act (PVPA) provides patent-like protection for sexually reproduced and tuber-propagated plant varieties. Unlike utility patents and plant patents which are granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the PVPA is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Plant Variety Protection Act was enacted to allow a “breeder of any sexually reproduced or tuber propagated plant variety who has so reproduced the variety” to receive protection for the variety if the variety is new, distinct, uniform and stable.
One should also be aware that the intellectual property laws for protecting plant-based inventions vary from country to country, and the intellectual property laws in foreign countries can be quite different than the laws in the U.S.
Our practitioners, in addition to having advanced scientific degrees, have experience in plant cell biology, plant molecular biology, plant biochemistry, plant stress responses, algae-based biofuels, plant-based biofuels, plant breeding methods, genetics, plant genetic engineering, seed technology, plant-based nutraceuticals, plant-based food ingredients, and plant pathology.