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Surfinia was patented on 1987 by Suntory.

It is a botanical variety of petunia artificially created.

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The earliest patent granted for this by the USPTO seems to be -

Gene encoding a protein having acyl group transfer activity US7105719B1

It was filed in 1996 based on a priority application filed in Japan in 1995. It expired in 2016. While it is a patent relating to plants it is a utility patent, not a "plant patent" as it is defined in the U.S.

It does not cite any earlier patent application from the 80’s so I'm not sure where "patented in 1987" comes from. If you have more information about any earlier work that yu can to edit into your answer, I can dive back into the patent databases

Anything granted in 1987 would have expired in 2004.

There are many later patents related to this substance that may still be in force. Also, patents are territorial so they only affect rights in the locations that issue them.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US7105719B1

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  • Wouldn't a patent granted in the US in 1987 expire 17 years later?
    – Eric S
    May 23 at 15:01
  • Also, the original question was tagged as "plant-patent" but the cited patent while related to plants isn't a plant patent. You night want to not that.
    – Eric S
    May 23 at 15:03
  • thanks, made the edits.
    – George White
    May 23 at 18:22

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