08 June 2010

Unlicensed Propagation Prohibited!

Unlicensed propagation prohibited! This is what PP#18184 means on the coreopsis purchased last spring - Plant Patent #18184. Coreopsis 'Autumn Blush' from Wayside Gardens came in the mail after it was selected as one of the new plants for the garden last spring. After reading about its care this spring, I find that it has a 'Plant Patent,' here as well as Canada. PPAF, in case we run across that one, stands for 'Plant Patent Applied For.'

When reviewing online nurseries selling this coreopsis, I see that all have some non-descript tag or asterisk that probably raises no red flag for most people (like me.) Only after some sleuthing does one learn what the nomenclature and anacronyms refer to. Can I be fined by the Plant Police (um. . . I mean the 'Plant Variety Protection Office') if I divide the plant? Will I be hauled off to the slammer if the plant decides to reproduce itself? Not to worry - the plant is sterile, probably bred that way to prevent unauthorized propagation.

So who holds the patent? I cannot find that information online at the Patent and Trademark Office. I did find PP#18183 (the number before #18184 coreopsis) is an Alstroemeria. I also found the following information about plant patents at the US -PTO Office:
The law provides for the granting of a patent to anyone who has invented or discovered and asexually reproduced any distinct and new variety of plant, including cultivated sports, mutants, hybrids, and newly found seedlings, other than a tuber-propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state.

Three or four blooms created only disappointment when it was planted last spring. After a summer pampering and a hearty winter, the plant peeked out in late spring, then bolted into the loose, lacy mound of foliage now exhibited. Blossoms are coming on strong and are incredibly interesting.

Two-color petals attract attention without the gaudiness they would on a larger plant. Don't believe the photos in the catalogs (as if you ever do.) Although the coreopsis has grown into a foot high mound (30 cm), it is anything but thick and dense. Descriptions also state "Attracts butterflies and bees." Attracting nothing here. "Forms a compact mound." Try sparse and floppy. "Blooms repeatedly." Maybe later this year.

If you want a piece of the action (er, a piece of Autumn Blush) at our next plant swap, meet me in the parking lot - I will be the one in the trench coat and sunglasses carrying the brown paper bag.

For The Record:
  • Heavy clay soil with organic fertilizer in spring
  • Full sun
  • No pests

Garden Calendar:
  • Blooming: coneflower, hydrangea, salvia, phlox, nicotiana,
    calendula, hostas, bletilla, spiderwort, alyssum


Pam said...
It's a shame that you have to go under cover to share a plant, lol. Be careful at your next plant swap!!

J.C. said...
Is there a secret handshake?!
Garden Much said...
So you remove a few of natures tricks such as sexual reproduction and call it innovation - Definitely worth a patent and a business monopoly! hmm, what's the world coming to :)
Swimray said...
I think it was Monsanto that tried to patent a rice variety in India that was grown for hundreds of years. The company was turned down.
Garden Gnome Wanderings said...
Hi :) I was just writing a blog post for tomorrow about propagation prohibited when I stumbled upon your blog. I have some geraniums that are marked as such. I also bought Coreopsis 'Full Moon' and noticed that it is marked as well. I do hope they get bushier! I haven't planted them yet am planning to later today.
Swimray said...
I am seeing the PPAF label on more items these days online. I am not sure if this is because there are more PPAF or because I know what it means and now notice it.
FOUNDUPS® (Michael J. Trout, CEO) said...
What if I came across discarded clippings of buds and got their seed can I then plant them? This unlicensed propagation prohibited - what does it mean...
Swimray said...
You could plant them, but they would not grow (or would not grow true.) Only plants that need to be reproduced by cuttings or tissue culture can be patented - so you can't do those actions on a patented plant without authority.