Frequently Asked Questions
What are Plant Trademarks and how do I use them?
Why are you asking me to make these changes?
What is a Trademark?
Trademarks play an important role in commerce to establish brand identification. Trademarks are a legal form of intellectual property protection and are very valuable assets of their respective owners. It is important to use the TM or ® symbol wherever possible to inform the public of the owner’s rights and to protect the value of the trademark. Examples include: Endless Summer®, Drift®, Encore®, Red Sunset®, Incrediball®
When should I use quotes?
When should I use italics?
Example: Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Bailmer’ / Endless Summer® The Original Hydrangea
What is the proper way to list the item?
Example: Redpointe® Maple / Acer rubrum ‘Frank Jr.’ PP16769
Is it acceptable if the catalog and website are different from the availability in the way the items are listed?
Example: Easy Elegance® Macy’s Pride™ / Rosa ‘BAIcream’ PP15574 Rose for catalog and website
Example: Easy Elegance® Macy’s Pride™ PP15574 for list
Our availability list is our catalog, how can we fit everything in with limited space?
Example: Sunny Knock Out® Rose
I have a limited amount of characters for my line items, how should I abbreviate?
Example: Hyd arb Incrediball® Hydrangea
Should I use the marks if we have to abbreviate the brand? Example PW, ES, KO
My software does not allow for symbols such as ® and ™ what should I do?
Example: Knock Out (R ) Pink Rose, Thuja Fire Chief ( TM )
Can I do a heading of the series and list the varieties below without repeating the series name? Example: Knock Out® Roses and then list colors below.
Do I need to repeat Drift® in the body of the text description if it is in the header? Or can I just say in the text Drift Roses without the ® symbol if the symbol is in the primary spot in the header?
Must I use the logo? If so, where can I get it?
Must I use the full botanical name and patent as well as the trademark?
Example: Encore® Azalea Autumn Starburst® / Rhododendron ‘Robleze’ PP32605 for catalog and website
Example: Encore® Azalea Autumn Starburst® PP32605 for list
When do I need to use the ® or ™ when referencing a plant name that is trademarked?
Any time a trademarked plant is mentioned, in print or online, the name of the plant should include either the ® symbol, for plants with registered trademarks, or the ™ symbol for plants with unregistered trademarks. A plant’s trademarked name is distinct and separate from its cultivar name and from its botanical name, so both the trademark and the cultivar name should be used in conjunction with the plant.
Example: Apricot Drift® Rose PP23,354/ Rosa ‘Meimirrote’
(trademarked name / scientific (or botanical) name and ‘cultivar’
The ™ or ® symbols can be used throughout all printed and digital material, but at a minimum these symbols must be included at the first and/or most prominent use of the mark.
Which part of the plant name typically is denoted with single quotes (‘)?
Single quotation marks indicate the specific cultivar of a plant. A cultivar is a plant variety that has been produced by selective breeding.
Example: ‘Berlin Rabe’ is the name of the cultivar in the patented and trademarked plant name:
Bigleaf Hydrangea Cityline® Berlin PP10,912
Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Berlin Rabe’
Can cultivar names also be trademarked?
No. A trademark on a plant protects only the plant’s name, not the plant cultivar itself. Another person could propagate a trademarked plant, but not call it the same variety name. An example of trademarked varieties include the Endless Summer hydrangeas.
Where can I search for plant patents or patented plant names?
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) maintains a database of all patents and trademarks. The USPTO website, www.uspto.gov, offers tutorials on how to search for patents, registered trademarks and applications for both.
You may also use the Google Advanced Search for patents: https://www.google.com/advanced_patent_search Be sure to change the Patent Type/Status dropdown to Plant (PP).