Plant Patents Attorney in Kansas City, Missouri

If you are looking to protect newly cultivated or invented varieties of plants, you should consider filing a plant patent application. Plant patents are a type of intellectual property protection that is granted to inventors who have discovered or created new and distinct plant varieties. 

Over the years, Attorney Dale J. Ream has assisted horticulturists, breeders, and agricultural businesses with safeguarding their plant innovations and maximizing the protection of their intellectual property, both in the United States and internationally.  

If you need help with applying for a plant patent, Ream Law Firm, L.L.C., is here to assist you. With over 25 years of industry experience, the firm’s plant patents attorney in Kansas City, Missouri, can leverage his specialized knowledge to help protect your unique plant varieties. 

What Are Plant Patents?

According to the United States Patent Trademark Office, plant patents are granted "to an inventor (or the inventor's heirs or assigns) who has invented or discovered and asexually reproduced a distinct and new variety of plant." This does not include tuber-propagated plants or plants found in an uncultivated state.  

Once granted, these patents provide exclusive rights to the inventor for 20 years from the date the patent application was filed. During this time, others cannot propagate, sell, import, or use the plant variety in any form without permission.  

Plant patents play a vital role in the horticultural and agricultural industries. Securing a patent can help ensure that the significant time and resources invested in developing the new plant variety are recognized and rewarded. 

Protect Your New Plant Variety


What Makes a Plant Patentable? 

To qualify for a plant patent, a new plant variety must meet specific criteria. It's not enough for the plant to be novel; it must also be non-obvious and distinguishable from existing varieties and capable of being asexually reproduced. The key criteria that must be met include: 

  1. Novelty: The plant variety must be new, meaning that it hasn't been publicly disclosed, sold, or available before the filing date of the patent application. The novelty criterion ensures that only truly innovative plant varieties receive protection. 

  1. Distinctiveness: The new plant must have characteristics that distinguish it from other known varieties. These distinguishing features could be related to the plant's shape, color, fragrance, disease resistance, or any other unique attribute that sets it apart. 

  1. Asexual reproduction: The plant must be capable of being asexually reproduced. This means the plant can be reproduced without using seeds, ensuring the new plant consistently replicates the unique traits of the original variety. Common methods of asexual reproduction include grafting, division, tissue culture, and cloning. 

  1. Non-obviousness: The plant's distinguishing characteristics must not be an obvious improvement or modification of existing plant varieties to someone skilled in the field of horticulture. Essentially, the innovation must be significant enough that it wouldn't be considered an expected or straightforward development. 

If your plant variety meets these criteria, it may be eligible for a plant patent, which would provide you with exclusive rights to propagate the plant and market it for sale. An experienced patent attorney can help you determine whether your plant variety meets the established criteria. 

Why Apply for a Plant Patent? 

Applying for a plant patent offers numerous advantages to breeders and horticulturists. Understanding these benefits can help you make an informed decision about protecting your plant variety and potential business interests. Some of the reasons a plant patent can be beneficial include: 

  • Exclusive rights: A plant patent grants you the sole authority to propagate, sell, or license your plant variety. This exclusivity can be a powerful tool for dominating a niche market.  

  • Financial rewards: A plant patent allows you to monetize your plant variety through licensing agreements or sales. Many breeders generate substantial income by licensing their patented plants to nurseries or agricultural companies.  

  • Competitive advantage: A patented plant variety gives you a unique selling point that sets you apart from competitors, providing a significant edge in the market.  

  • Attracting investors: Investors are more likely to fund ventures with patented plant technologies. A plant patent demonstrates the uniqueness and potential of your plant variety, making it an attractive investment opportunity.  

Consider speaking with a Missouri plant patents attorney for legal advice tailored to your situation. Attorney Dale J. Ream will work with you to review your particular circumstances and explain how you could potentially benefit from filing for a plant patent. 

The Plant Patent Application Process 

Applying for a plant patent involves several essential steps. Each step is crucial for securing protection for your plant variety. These steps are as follows:  

  1. Conduct a patent search: Before filing a patent application, you and your attorney should conduct a comprehensive patent search to identify any existing patents that may affect the novelty of your plant variety.  

  1. Prepare a patent application: Your application should include a detailed description of the plant variety, along with any distinguishing characteristics. Hiring a patent application attorney can help ensure your application meets all the necessary legal requirements.  

  1. File with the USPTO: Once your patent application is ready, file it with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The filing date establishes the priority of your plant variety.  

  1. Examination and review: After filing, your application undergoes examination by a patent examiner. The examiner reviews your plant variety for novelty, non-obviousness, distinctiveness, and its ability to be asexually reproduced. You may need to respond to any objections or rejections during this phase.  

  1. Patent grant: If your application meets all criteria, the USPTO will grant your plant patent. You'll receive a patent certificate, and your plant variety will be officially protected. If the examiner still rejects your application, you – as the applicant – can appeal the decision with the help of a Missouri plant patents lawyer. 

Plant Patents Attorney in Kansas City, Missouri 

Attorney Dale J. Ream has been working with intellectual property cases for over 25 years. As the founding attorney at Ream Law Firm, L.L.C., he has extensive experience in handling plant patent cases. He is committed to providing clear and reliable guidance to those seeking patent protection throughout the KC metro area, including Johnson County in Kansas and Jackson County in Missouri. Reach out today to schedule a free consultation.