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Patents to plants which are stable and reproduced by asexual reproduction, and not a potato or other edible tuber reproduced plant, are provided for by Title 35 United States Code, Section 161 which states:

Title 35 U.S. Code ยง 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."

Why are potatoes specifically excluded from patentable subject matter in the US?

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I think a bio-enginered potato is patentable with a utility patent. Potatoes are excluded from plant patents. I don't know the reason but if one wants to do well on the patent bar exam it is good to know that jerusalem artichokes are not patentable as plants. It is likely to come up in the test somewhere. –  George White Jan 11 at 3:08

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