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Proceedings of the International Plant Propagator's Society

Vol. 42

Plant Variety Protection

Vincent G. Gioia

pp: 206-209

There are three available forms of plant variety protection in the United States; plant patents, utility patents, and certificates of protection. Each form of protection grants different rights to its owner. This paper describes the procedures for obtaining plant patents, utility patents and PVPA Certificates of Protection in the United States for new plant varieties and the rights obtained by these protection grants. Applications for plant and utility patents are similar but there are different requirements for applications for Certificates of Protection. In all applications for protection, it is important to describe the new variety as completely as possible. Plant patents protect varieties that are asexually reproducible and Certificates of Protection apply to sexually reproducible varieties. Utility patents may be obtained for both asexually and sexually reproducible plant varieties. The cost of obtaining protection is also different. Government fees are lower for plant patents (filing fee $480, issue fee $590, both reducible by 50% for "small entities"), and highest for Certificates of Protection (total fees are about $2600, no reduction for "small entities"). Utilities patents are in between (filing fee $710, issue fee $1170, both reducible by 50% for "small entities"), but maintenance fees are required for utility patents before the end of the fourth, eighth, and twelfth years of the utility patent term in order to maintain the patent in effect. No maintenance fees are required for plant patents.

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