GRIPS, LLC is a Colorado Limited Liability Company - Copyright 2012-2014, All Rights Reserved. Allison is a Plant Breeder's Rights Agent. She is not an attorney and she does not offer legal advice.
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Intellectual Property Systems
(GRIPS, LLC)
Save Thousands, Same Protections
  • Deadline Management

  • Trademark Portfolios

  • Patent Application Portfolios

  • Plant Breeder Rights Applications

  • Government Correspondences

  • Application Renewals

  • Legal Contracts Management

  • Planning and Promotion

  • Asset Protection Tactics
The head-aches I take care of for floriculture growers and horticulture companies include:
Deciding whether to file a patent application for a patent is a bit of a “which comes first – the chicken or the egg” riddle. Do I test the market and sell the plant and then patent it once I see there is consumer demand? Or, do I protect my legal rights to the plants from the onset, incur the expenses associated with it, and submit a patent application before I sell?

These are complicated questions and there aren’t absolute questions. Each circumstance is different and the same answer may not apply in all situations. To illustrate how complicate these questions are, understand that there is no clear definition for “sale.” Is the sale defined by an “offer to sale,” “availability to the public” or even growing and distribution agreements between the plant breeding company and growers?

One important step to keeping your options open is to keep careful notes of any dates that may constitute a sale. Also, your growers contracts and receipts should be reviewed carefully to determine whether or not the transfer of plants may be considered a sale.

The term intellectual property professionals use to answer the question of whether a plant can be sold before it is patented, is a “novelty requirement.” Patent offices around the world have agreed that people can obtain patents for things that are new – in other words, the invention must have novelty.

Just how “new” is new, depends on definitions specified by each country. For example, Argentina requires “Absolute Novelty” to receive a plant breeder’s rights grant, which means that the plant cannot have been for sale in Argentina prior to filing the application. U.S. patents, in contrast, do not have same absolute requirement. A plant can be for sale in the US for up to one year prior to filing an application and four to six years internationally, depending on the type of plant.

Adding to these complications are the new “First to File” laws in the U.S. Making decisions on when to file for a plant patent is one of the most important decisions in your plant protection strategy. If this decision is made incorrectly, you can easily loose the opportunity to obtain patent protection. If you are faced with these decisions, please feel free to call us to discuss.
GRIPS, LLC is a Colorado Limited Liability Company - Copyright 2012-2014, All Rights Reserved. Allison is a Plant Breeder's Rights Agent. She is not an attorney and she does not offer legal advice.
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Poof! Plant Profits in Peril is a refreshing, easy-to-read, patent, trademark and branding storybook that teaches horticulturists to maximally profit from their protected plant assets by successfully negotiating some of the most common pitfalls of the complex, intellectual property world.


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If you already sold your plant, can you patent it?