Orchids forum: A call to orchid (history) buffs

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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Oct 6, 2015 2:31 PM CST
I have a chance to get a division of Blc. Pamela Hetherington 'Coronation' AM-FCC/AOS. The gentleman says he purchased the plant from Fred Stewart in the 1970's and that the plant was a division when he purchased it. This guy and Fred were apparently close friends back then. This is a patented orchid and was patented in 1970. I don't even know what a "patented orchid" means. Sighing! I did look up the orchid and saw that one was last auctioned off ten years ago @ $300.00. This was a division that was being auctioned. I don't see this plant for sell anywhere by anyone. The guy swears he has not had this plant or a division out of his possession for at least 20 years. I can't imagine having an orchid for 40 years but this guy has a handful of orchids that date back to purchases in the 70's! Sticking tongue out

Does anyone have knowledge of this particular orchid? This is a picture of his flowers.

Thumb of 2015-10-06/drdawg/d13be9

drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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Name: Melissa
Memphis, TN (Zone 8a)
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shadytrake
Oct 6, 2015 7:02 PM CST
Ken,

If it was patented, that means it was cloned. I would not trust that it is a division of the original awarded plant.

Stewart got the award in 1977. It was later awarded an FCC in 1981 then two CCMs in 2014 (presumably from divisions or clones).

It was patented in 1982 not in 1970. It was registered with RHS in 1970.

http://www.google.com/patents/USPP5154

Now that is not to say it would not be a good plant to own, but I would not trust that it is a division from the original without some hard documentation. You can buy the clone for under $30.

http://fatinoinc.com/10694-Blc-Pamela-Hetherington-Cornation...
Name: Melissa
Memphis, TN (Zone 8a)
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shadytrake
Oct 6, 2015 7:13 PM CST
Ken,

I don't believe him. That cannot be his picture unless he is in Japan or Korea. I did a google image search and it comes up that exact photo owned by someone in Asia (looks Japanese) and his personal blooming journal (with translation).

https://www.google.com/search?tbs=sbi:AMhZZisGJokej1DpOQp8OB...

Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
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Ursula
Oct 6, 2015 7:17 PM CST

Moderator

@TedM posted this Orchid in bloom, check February Orchids on the 28. 2015
http://garden.org/thread/view_post/800553/

I remember us discussing this plant.
[Last edited by Ursula - Oct 6, 2015 7:20 PM (+)]
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
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drdawg
Oct 6, 2015 8:24 PM CST
Hey, that's a lot of good information. Thank You!

We are not talking money here, so whether it is a $300 plant or a $30 plant is of no consequence to me. I don't quite understand why someone patents a plant and why it would be a clone, but again, unless you want to educate me in this matter, it perhaps is not all that important. I am surprised that you found this plant for sell, and apparently readily for sale. I did not see it when looking. I guess I did not look hard enough. I just thought these old registered plants were not often seen for sell. Needless to say, you won't be buying it from Stewart.

He may have been in the Orient. I don't know. Whistling I was following some links and I am sure that's where the picture came from. I guess I should have stated that this was a picture of the flowers and not "his flowers". Sorry about that.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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Name: Melissa
Memphis, TN (Zone 8a)
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shadytrake
Oct 6, 2015 11:22 PM CST
Ken, If you read the link about the patent it explains that it is specifically for cloning "meristem" breeding. Meristem or "cloning" is mass producing through tissue culture rather than breeding two parents (seed pod/pollen). Cloning means the blooms will be exactly the same every time.

Seed breeding does not produce the exact bloom every time. Each one is unique.

Cloning is popular because it is cheaper and guaranteed (up to a point) to get that bloom on every plant.
Name: David Laderoute
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DavidLMO
Oct 6, 2015 11:56 PM CST
drdawg said: I don't quite understand why someone patents a plant and why it would be a clone,


Patented so that neither YOU nor any one else can reproduce and sell it, legally. Cloned cause: it is easy to do these days and gives an exact duplicate and you can fairly easily make gazillions of them. Flasking.

I hope that your plant in fact goes way back.

A new friend (82 YO) gave me a Daylily division which she got ~ 20 years ago from a friend who was a generation older than my new friend. The friend had gotten it from her grandmother who purchased it in the 1930s or so.. Smiling After a ton of research, it looks like I may have a very rare antique Daylily first Registered in 1924. Sorry this is so off topic.
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
[Last edited by DavidLMO - Oct 7, 2015 12:02 AM (+)]
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
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drdawg
Oct 7, 2015 6:03 AM CST
I know what a meristem is and what cloning is. I just did not know that growers actually patented their plants. I guess it is the same as copywriting music, script, and pictures.

I don't guess I will ever know the "true" history of the orchid. Fred might have accurate records, but since it has now been forty years, the likelihood of digging up something concrete is probably remote. But, it is not a big deal. The flowers are supposed to be beautiful, huge, and fragrant and the plants vigorous growers (though they get quite large apparently). I will now have three "old-timey" plants, all divisions of plants purchased from Stewart in the 70's. No one else may think so, but I think that's kind of neat. An old guy with old plants. Whistling

I again apologize for the picture confusion. I just liked it. Sticking tongue out
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Oct 7, 2015 7:36 AM CST
Hoping you just want these "old timey" plants for your own private enjoyment, Ken. (and of course we will enjoy your pictures)

Do take seriously the fact that you are not allowed to propagate a patented plant to sell. Not sure if you're even allowed to propagate it to trade with your friends, as accepting something in trade could still be construed as "profit".

I don't know if there is anyone at Stewart who would be willing to hire a lawyer to defend a patent that is 30-odd years old - or if the patent is still valid since someone does seem to be selling the plants (maybe under license from the patent holder?) but if they did, you could be in trouble.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Oct 7, 2015 8:07 AM CST
I have no thoughts about doing anything with this plant, other than growing it for my enjoyment. I might try to contact Fred (I assume he is still living?) and see if he has any records going back to the 1970's.

This just came to mind. Since this plant was obtained in the 70's, and the patent was not until 1982, would my division still be a patented plant? How about it, lawyer friends?
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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Name: Melissa
Memphis, TN (Zone 8a)
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shadytrake
Oct 7, 2015 9:37 AM CST
drdawg said:I have no thoughts about doing anything with this plant, other than growing it for my enjoyment. I might try to contact Fred (I assume he is still living?) and see if he has any records going back to the 1970's.

This just came to mind. Since this plant was obtained in the 70's, and the patent was not until 1982, would my division still be a patented plant? How about it, lawyer friends?


Patent still applies because if you read the full information it explains the breeding original registration and such dating back to the 60s so the timeline is established.

For some reason I thought that Fred had passed away. Maybe I am wrong about that. If you can get an oral confirmation from him about the division, that would be satisfactory to me personally for my collection (growing for self-enjoyment).

Question for the lawyers: Does the friend have the right to sell it to Ken? I assume that the patent only covers breeding and divisions? If one wants to sell their plant, I assume that is okay? But maybe not. Confused
Name: Melissa
Memphis, TN (Zone 8a)
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shadytrake
Oct 7, 2015 9:40 AM CST
drdawg said: I will now have three "old-timey" plants, all divisions of plants purchased from Stewart in the 70's. No one else may think so, but I think that's kind of neat. An old guy with old plants. Whistling

I again apologize for the picture confusion. I just liked it. Sticking tongue out


You need to post photos of your blooms of the plants! Then we can marvel and drool over the large floofy Cattleyas! Drooling
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
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drdawg
Oct 7, 2015 10:02 AM CST
Figuring out the law, particularly using "lawyer-speak" is so much fun. A friend said that if there is a devise, and it is not patented until a certain date, there is no legal reason that a similar or even exact device could not be sold if that device was purchased/produced before the patent or patent-pending date. He says the patent or patent pending date is the critical element, and what precedes that/those dates have no legal binding. That's what my judge-friend thinks anyway. The judge has no expertise in patent-law. It all sounds kind of murky to me, but I don't know the law and understand little of matters like patents.

I don't know whether any of this even means anything, at least not practically speaking. I am not looking to sell this or any of these heirloom orchids. I guess if I did, someone could sue me. The American tradition, huh?
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
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DavidLMO
Oct 7, 2015 10:07 AM CST
Virtually all plants distributed by the big players these days, e.g. Proven Winners, are noted as Patented or PPAF - Plant Patent Applied For. Strictly read, you are not even supposed to replicate the plant for your own use. "Asexual reproduction is not allowed" or some such is common phrase on plant tags.

For a variety that is patented, the patent applies to all of them. Smiling For those granted on or after June 8, 1995, the term is 20 years. Not sure of what the status is for a 1982 patent. Expired? First Plant Patent was 1931. Lotsa info here:

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/plant-patents.html

When you buy a patented plant, a fee per plant goes to the patent holder and varies - I have seen then from 10 cents to several dollars.

IANAL - I Am Not A Lawyer, but I did work closely with them for 30 years and held their hands - even writing discovery, cross examination questions and I once wrote a 287 page Brief when an attorney vanished on a project for which I was the clients consultant/Expert Witness.
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
[Last edited by DavidLMO - Oct 7, 2015 10:15 AM (+)]
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Oct 7, 2015 10:15 AM CST
Right, the patent really only applies to propagating the plant for profit since they're never going to know if you just propagate it at home.

So if you have one plant, and you sell it to someone else without dividing it, that should be legal.

But if you divided it in half, kept half and sold the other half, then you have profited by propagating your plant and that would be patent infringement.

In the case of a patented tool or other device, though, since you can't "propagate" them, any copying of the tool so that you don't have to pay the patent holder for a new one, or pay him a royalty on the design is also patent infringement. We patented a tool a few years ago, and the patent applies to all tools of that particular - exact - design that we have made, whether or not they were made before or after the patent was granted.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
[Last edited by dyzzypyxxy - Oct 7, 2015 10:19 AM (+)]
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Oct 7, 2015 10:22 AM CST
I occasionally have bought seedlings (plugs) that had a Royalty Fee tacked on. These came from commercial growers in FL.

I know no one is going to go to the trouble/expense to sue over a dollar, but how in the world can someone tell whether the plant I shipped was my own, personal one or a division of my personal one? I like to occasionally be a Devil's Advocate. Whistling
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
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DavidLMO
Oct 7, 2015 6:49 PM CST
Sticking tongue out Shrug!
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Oct 12, 2015 9:09 AM CST
For those who have interest in my original post concerning the Blc. Pamela Hetherington 'Coronation' FCC/AOS, here is updated and correct information.

Plant patents filed/registered before 1996 had a seventeen year expiration period and one cannot renew/extend/re-file for that patent after the seventeen year period expires. Thus this patent has expired and the plant is now considered to be public-domain. I can do whatever I want with this plant.

This information was obtained from the PhD who files plant/material patents and researches patents for the Mississippi State University Research and Technology Center. I would assume this expert on plant patents knows his business.

If I learn something new every day, I consider that to be a good day. Hurray!
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
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DavidLMO
Oct 12, 2015 6:25 PM CST
Thank You! Hurray!
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976

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