Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Plotting a patent; Nursery Management, February 6, 2017

Karen E. Varga, Nursery Management; 

Plotting a patent

"There have been 28,191 plant patent applications filed through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) since 1963. From those applications, 24,021 plant patents were granted. While, comparatively speaking, plant patents make up a very small portion of the overall number of patents granted in the U.S. (there were 25,986 design patents granted in 2015 alone), their importance within the horticulture industry has grown, especially with the proliferation of brands...

When the America Invents Act was signed into law in 2011 and fully implemented in 2013, the U.S. went from being a “first to invent” to a “first inventor to file” country, putting it in line with most of the rest of the world. Under the new system, whomever files the patent application first can become the patent owner. That means that if you publicly disclose your plant before filing, you risk losing patentability. In addition, the new system considers any public disclosure outside of the U.S. the same as one made within our borders.
“The most important thing I tell people is, don’t show it to anybody, particularly anybody from outside of your operation,” McCoy says. “Don’t disclose it, don’t show it to anyone, and then get with a practitioner. Under this ‘first inventor to file’ system, you need to file before you disclose in any way.”
For 10 more patent questions and their answers, read the full article in our February issue."

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