What It Is

Plant patent applications are available for those inventors or applicants who have found a new species of plant which can be duplicated through “asexual reproduction.” It can include mutants which are either induced or spontaneously mutated in a cultivated environment. It cannot otherwise be “made” or “manufactured,” for example by natural pollination. Examples of these types of patents are for different strains of hops, fruit trees, and grapes (for wine). Just like utility applications, the written description needs to fully enable the invention and allow someone who is in the field of horticulture to be able to make and use the invention. In addition, a specimen of the plant invention needs to be submitted to the USPTO for inspection and analysis. Like utility applications, the term of this type of patent generally lasts for twenty years from the filing date.

Click here to read our blog article on how to file a plant patent in 5 steps.

How Bold Patents Performs a Plant Patent Application

We work with the inventor and start out by doing a site visit or conducting a video conference where we can visually witness the plant and the process by which it was grown. Our team will work with the inventor and/or applicant to describe the written description as in other applications, draw the plant and prepare the specimen for submission to the USPTO.

The patent application process involves several steps, and it is time sensitive. Generally, a patent application should be filed within one year from when the discovery was made available or known to the public.

A patent attorney assisting with the application will conduct searches to determine whether a plant species is already patented. If it is not, the attorney will work to describe the defining characteristics of the new plant species in general botanical terms as well as in specific agricultural language identifying the genealogy, the precise color of the plant using a plant color code sheet, and cultivation conditions if applicable. One copy of the application goes to the Department of Agriculture, which will issue an advisory report. The other copy is filed with the USPTO.

Obtaining patent protection for a new species of plant can help ensure someone else is not able to profit from your discovery without your permission. A patent for your plant species means you hold the rights to exclude others from growing, breeding, using, offering, or selling the plant species in the U.S. or importing it into the U.S. A patent holder can choose to monetize their invention or discovery by licensing or otherwise providing others with these rights.

Because of the nuances and technicalities involved in filing applications for plant patents, it is important to work with a firm that has experience helping other botanists and inventors patent their discoveries. Bold Patents provides a variety of patent services for inventors and entrepreneurs, including plant patents. When you choose to work with an experienced plant patent attorney, you’ll have step-by-step support through the entire patent search and application process.