Congress Approves New Plant Intellectual Property Protection Option

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One thing the last Congress did manage to finish in December was a new farm bill.  And among the beneficial provisions of the new farm bill is a new plant breeders’ rights protection option. AmericanHort successfully supported the provision, which expands the USDA-administered Plant Variety Protection Act (PVPA) to enable protection of asexually-reproduced plants.  (The PVPA, first established by Congress in 1970, covered only seed-reproduced varieties).

When this expansion is implemented, it will give horticultural plant breeders the option of three different plant protection schemes – traditional plant patents, utility patents, or plant variety protection certificates. Each system has its strengths and limitations, which are outlined in a new briefing paper now available to AmericanHort members in the Knowledge Center.

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