What Happens When a Plant Patent Expires? Growers May Still Need to Be Careful to Avoid IP Infringement

AmericanHort Contributor January 14 2019

By Stephany G. Small, Ph.D. and Travis W. Bliss, Ph.D., J.D.

A U.S. plant patent grants the patent holder the right to exclude others from asexually reproducing, using, offering for sale, or selling the patented plant or any of its parts in the United States or importing them into the Uniteds States.  Twenty years after filing the plant patent application, the plant patent will expire, thus placing the variety in the public domain. However, the expiration of the plant patent does not necessarily mean that the public gains completely free use of the off-patent v...

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