Intellectual Property Protection For Vegetables

Intellectual Property Protection for Vegetables

 Intellectual property (IP) protection allows developers of new vegetable varieties and improved seeds to reinvest in research and continue to provide improvements that benefit growers and consumers.

 

Limited Use License
The genetics of many vegetable varieties may be protected by contract.

  • Limited use agreements between farmer and breeder specify that seed from the variety can only be used to produce one (1) commercial crop and can not be used or provided to any party for crop breeding, research or seed production.

Plant Variety Protection
The genetics of many vegetable varieties may be protected by U.S. Plant Variety Protection (PVP).

  • The protected variety may be used  for certain plant breeding activities.
  • Unauthorized reproduction of the protected variety is strictly prohibited.
  • Infringing activities include, but are not limited to, selling, marketing, offerring for sale, importing, exporting, producing and reproducing the protected variety.
  • Those who infringe the rights of a  PVP protected variety may be liable  for damages up to three times the amount of the reasonable royalty of  the PVP holder as well as additional  state statutory damages.

Patents
Specific varieties, characteristics and improvements in vegetable varieties may be protected by one or more  U.S. patents.

  • A U.S. patent holder can prevent others from making, using, offering for sale, and selling, or importing the claimed invention in the United States.
  • Examples of characteristics or improvements may include: specific varieties, resistance to disease, resistance to plant pests, breeding techniques, improved nutritional aspects and  flavor enhancement.
  • Those who save patented seed risk:  
    • Lost profts
    • Seizure or destruction of crops
    • Liability for damages to the patent holder.
How do you know if the seed may be protected?

  • Talk to your seed dealer
  • Check the bag and tag labeling
  • Refer to the limited use/technology use agreement
  • Consult seed company website
  • Patent protection information may not always be provided
  • These examples may be found printed on the bag, labels or company websites.

 

These examples may be found printed on the bag, labels or company websites.

EXAMPLE OF  LIMITED USE LICENSE 

Use Restriction: This Seed is owned by or licensed to Company, and Company, strictly limits the sale and possession of this Seed to a grant to User of a non-exclusive right to use this Seed for the sole purpose of growing a single crop of plant parts for sale or use as a vegetable product. User shall not export, reproduce, multiply or breed the Seed, and shall not genetically analyze or manipulate in any way the Seed, or any plants or plant parts produced from the Seed. User shall include this Agreement with any transfer of this Seed.

EXAMPLES OF PATENT INFORMATION ON A LABEL

MARKING
This variety is protected by one or more of the following patents: U.S. Patent No. 1,234,567


VIRTUAL MARKING  REPRESENTED BY THE  COMPANY’S URL
www.seedco.com/patents
Foreign Patents may also be noted.

 

EXAMPLES OF PVP  INFORMATION ON A LABEL

UNAUTHORIZED PROPAGATION PROHIBITED UNAUTHORIZED EXPORT PROHIBITED


U.S. Variety Protection Applied For Unauthorized Sales for Reproductive Purposes Prohibited  

OR

PVPA 1994 – Unauthorized Sales of Saved Seed for Planting Purposes Prohibited PVP STATUS