U.S. patent law allows for patent protection for any non-tuberous, asexually reproducible plant discovered in a cultivated area (35 U.S.C. § 161).
Plant patents have fallen out of use – heretofore, plant patents were issued for varieties of fruits, trees, ornamentals, staples, and other selectively bred plants. However, the Green Revolution in the 1970s and the more recent sequencing techniques in engineering lifeforms and modern genomics, recognized by the Supreme Court as patent eligible human ingenuity, rendered plant patents fairly obsolete.
However, recent moves at the USPTO and in the 10th Circuit suggest that Plant Patents may again become a sought after intellectual property instrument. Specifically, for patenting strains of Cannabis. For more information on this evolving area of patent law, please download our free brochure, here.