US plant patents (USPP)
Echinacea 'Hot Summer ' United States Patent PP20687
This is a patent granted by the United States Government. It provides legislative protection to a new plant cultivar. The Plant Patent Act dates from 1930 and a grant may be made to applicants who have discovered, or bred, and asexually reproduced a new cultivar. A USPP cannot be granted to a plant propagated from a tuber or to a plant found ‘in the wild’. A USPP expires 20 years from the filing of the patent application and during this time precludes others from reproducing (and using the plant so reproduced) or selling the patented plant without the permission of the patent owner.
A USPP must be limited to one plant or genome, thus a sport or mutant derived from the patented plant would not be covered by the patent of the parent (although, subject to meeting the requirements of patentability a sport or mutant could be patented separately).
Unlike PBR systems in most other countries, an application for a USPP does not demand that the new plant(s) be submitted for testing. However, the application must be accompanied by a complete botanical description and an accurate representation (either a photograph or a drawing).
For more information see the United States Patent and Trademark Office website. Plants holding USPP or with application pending can be searched for on the same website here or on the Free Patents website.