Saturday, September 10, 2016

Minnesota winery owner helps breeders patent their unique plants and potables; In Forum, 9/10/16

Vicki Gerdes, In Forum; Minnesota winery owner helps breeders patent their unique plants and potables:
"[Penny] Aguirre became a student at the fledgling Plant Molecular Genetics Institute, working under Professor Alan Smith, and eventually earned her master's degree in horticulture...
That passion for plants brought her to Santa Barbara, Calif., where she took a job as general manager at PlantHaven, a small, independent agency that worked to introduce new plant cultivars into the North American market—plants developed by breeders from all over the world.
"Part of that job was writing plant patents," Aguirre says.
Eventually, she became knowledgeable enough about that part of the job that she decided to take the patent bar exam and become a registered U.S. patent agent. "It's the same bar exam that legal students take to become patent attorneys," Aguirre said. "If you have a bachelor's degree in one of the sciences, take the exam and pass, at that point you are a registered patent agent."
Though most patent agents specialize in design or utility patents, Aguirre made the relatively unusual choice of specializing exclusively in patenting plants...
Plant patenting mostly involves writing a lot of very detailed descriptions—"every leaf, every stem, every stamen, every pistil," she said, noting that there are often very minute differences between plant varieties...
For more information about Aguirre's plant patenting business, please visit"

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