Ask a Question forum: How can I get my plant patented?

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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
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keithp2012
Oct 25, 2016 1:59 PM CST
I have a unique color for a specific plant that I don't see for sale anywhere. I really think it's something stores would want to sell. I don't know if it will be true from seed but it can be replicated with cuttings.

How can I get a patent for it, how is this done? Second, who can I contact to show my plant to spark interest? Third, can I ask to get paid for this if they show interest?
[Last edited by keithp2012 - Oct 25, 2016 2:07 PM (+)]
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Name: Sue
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sooby
Oct 25, 2016 2:30 PM CST
To patent a plant you or your lawyer would submit an application to the US Patent and Trademark Office. There is some information on their site, see link below, and there is a link from their info page to the fee schedule:

https://www.uspto.gov/patents-...
Name: Karen
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plantmanager
Oct 25, 2016 2:35 PM CST
Thanks, Sue. It doesn't look easy or cheap!
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Name: Elaine
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dyzzypyxxy
Oct 25, 2016 4:40 PM CST
Definitely not easy or cheap, you're right about that Karen.

Keith, I think among other things you need to replicate the plant a certain number of times to be sure it's a stable cross, not just a mutation or a sport that will revert back to looking like the parents. You may even have to get it DNA certified somehow to tell it apart from others of its type. Basically, you need to prove that you have a unique plant that's not like any others that other people have grown in order to patent it. It's a long and complicated process.

Jmho, it will very likely make you more money in the long run if you just propagate it like crazy yourself, and sell the plants on eBay or even at the local Farmer's Market or swap meet. That way you will make all the profits, instead of relying on a huge commercial grower to pay you a few cents for each one of your plants they can grow and sell.
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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Zinnias Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Annuals Spiders! Hybridizer Garden Photography
Vegetable Grower Tomato Heads Native Plants and Wildflowers The WITWIT Badge Daylilies Dog Lover
keithp2012
Oct 25, 2016 6:16 PM CST
dyzzypyxxy said:Definitely not easy or cheap, you're right about that Karen.

Keith, I think among other things you need to replicate the plant a certain number of times to be sure it's a stable cross, not just a mutation or a sport that will revert back to looking like the parents. You may even have to get it DNA certified somehow to tell it apart from others of its type. Basically, you need to prove that you have a unique plant that's not like any others that other people have grown in order to patent it. It's a long and complicated process.

Jmho, it will very likely make you more money in the long run if you just propagate it like crazy yourself, and sell the plants on eBay or even at the local Farmer's Market or swap meet. That way you will make all the profits, instead of relying on a huge commercial grower to pay you a few cents for each one of your plants they can grow and sell.


I know it's stable for a fact I've had it going for 3 years. The problem is if I try and sell and suddenly someone patents one similar then they can charge me for stealing so that isn't good. It wasn't easy to get but I know it's unique and opportunity doesn't strike often!
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Zinnias Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Annuals Spiders! Hybridizer Garden Photography
Vegetable Grower Tomato Heads Native Plants and Wildflowers The WITWIT Badge Daylilies Dog Lover
keithp2012
Oct 25, 2016 6:24 PM CST
sooby said:To patent a plant you or your lawyer would submit an application to the US Patent and Trademark Office. There is some information on their site, see link below, and there is a link from their info page to the fee schedule:

https://www.uspto.gov/patents-...


I'm going to call and ask about the basics being I know nothing about patents, Mabye they can simplify the rules and see if I really have potential for this.
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Zinnias Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Annuals Spiders! Hybridizer Garden Photography
Vegetable Grower Tomato Heads Native Plants and Wildflowers The WITWIT Badge Daylilies Dog Lover
keithp2012
Oct 28, 2016 1:19 PM CST
sooby said:To patent a plant you or your lawyer would submit an application to the US Patent and Trademark Office. There is some information on their site, see link below, and there is a link from their info page to the fee schedule:

https://www.uspto.gov/patents-...


I contacted the Supervisor of the site who refers applications and asked his personal opinion on the plant I have and if he has ever seen anything exactly like it, he said no and then asked can I reproduce it by cuttings and I said yes. He said it's worth it for me to contact head of the patenting committee that I most likely do have a new form that might be considered! All I can do is ask and see what she says, they aren't even allowed to view photos of the plant because as potential owner it's a violation of my rights if anything came through I must deliver a specimen to them in person.
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN, USA zon
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Leftwood
Oct 28, 2016 1:49 PM CST
keithp2012 said:I know it's stable for a fact I've had it going for 3 years.

She means stable in propagation. How many cuttings have you grown, and do they all show the same traits? You will need to know if it does come true from seed. If it does, and you don't file the proper paperwork that protects the strain, there will be problems. A person could legally grow it from seed, rename the plant and sell it under the new name.

keithp2012 said:It wasn't easy to get...

How did you "get" it? Did you produce it yourself?

There are lawyers that specialize in plant patents.
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Zinnias Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Annuals Spiders! Hybridizer Garden Photography
Vegetable Grower Tomato Heads Native Plants and Wildflowers The WITWIT Badge Daylilies Dog Lover
keithp2012
Oct 29, 2016 12:44 AM CST
Leftwood said:
She means stable in propagation. How many cuttings have you grown, and do they all show the same traits? You will need to know if it does come true from seed. If it does, and you don't file the proper paperwork that protects the strain, there will be problems. A person could legally grow it from seed, rename the plant and sell it under the new name.


How did you "get" it? Did you produce it yourself?

There are lawyers that specialize in plant patents.


Well the cuttings all look the same as the parent. I am going to grow from seed and see what I get.

I got it from a seed that was from plants in growing in my yard and one seedling happened to be variegated instead of the usual green.
[Last edited by keithp2012 - Oct 29, 2016 12:45 AM (+)]
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Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN, USA zon
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Hybridizer
Seed Starter Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Leftwood
Oct 29, 2016 7:33 AM CST
That it was a seedling that has your special characteristic, and not a sport from the mother plant, gives greater probability that future seedlings may also keep this trait. Remember, successful plant introductions depend on the quality of the entire plant, not just the one interesting characteristic. Be sure to evaluate your venture as such. Thumbs up Crossing Fingers!

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