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Can I plant broccoli in my backyard? This patent seems to cover some kinds of broccoli. What does that mean for a backyard grower?

  • US8030549 Broccoli type adapted for ease of harvest

  • Publication type: Grant

  • Publication date: Oct 4, 2011

  • Priority date: May 19, 2004

This is a utility patent on a living organism (fine as long as not human) it is in CLASS 800, MULTICELLULAR LIVING ORGANISMS AND UNMODIFIED PARTS THEREOF AND RELATED PROCESSES

Actual plant patents are primarly for plants that have been made by grafting. Plants made by molecular manipulation are "regular inventions".

  • EP1597965B1 Broccoli type adapted for ease of harvest
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2 Answers

I'm not very knowledgable about plant breeding but this seems to be tied to a handful of particular, numbered strains, at least in the U.S. version.

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This is not a plant patent but if it were, to add to George's comment above, in the US there are idiosyncratic rules specifically related to patents on plants.

Title 35 U.S. Code § 161

"Whoever invents or discovers and asexually reproduces 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, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of title."

The plant patent must also satisfy the general requirements of patentability. The subject matter of the application would be a plant which was developed or discovered by applicant, and which has been found stable by asexual reproduction.

A valid plant patent can be used to prohibit others from, making, using or selling the specific strain of plant described in the patent. However, as George mentions in the comments below and in his answer above this is not a plant patent. The subject patent is a utility patent on a living organism, which is allowed as long as the organism is not human. Plant patent numbers apparently begin with PP.

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All true. I didn't mention this was a plant patent because I wasn't sure it was. Apparently it is not. Look at google.com/patents/USPP23990 to see a plant patent. They have a different numbering scheme starting with PP. –  George White Jan 10 at 23:34
    
Fascinating! I had no idea there are two ways to pantent plants in the US. –  Micah Siegel Jan 10 at 23:40
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