Proper Use of Trademarks and Patents
How To Use Patent Numbers
When a patent has been issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), a patent number is assigned. Once a plant is patented, anyone other than the patent holder is prohibited from asexually reproducing or selling or using the patented plant. A plant patent is regarded as limited to one plant, or genome. A sport or mutant of a patented plant would not be considered to be of the same genotype, would not be covered by the plant patent to the parent plant, and would, itself, be separately patentable, subject to meeting the requirements of patentability.
- Plant Patents start with PP and have at least six characters.
- Utility Patents: Patent numbers consist of six or seven digits. Enter the Patent Number excluding commas and spaces and omit leading zeroes.
Importance of Trademarks
How Trademarks Are Displayed
- The ® symbol indicates federal registration of a trademark (which has significant legal connotation)
- The ™ symbol indicates a common law mark; the ™ symbol is also used for a federally registered trademark between the filing and registration period.
Examples of proper and improper uses of plant patents and trademarks
In this example:
Apricot Drift® is the registered trademark for a specific brand of rose
PP23354 is the Plant Patent number assigned by the USPTO
Other Examples of Proper Usage:
Hydrangea macrophylla Endless Summer® PP15,298 / Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Bailmer’
Berberis thunbergii First Editions® Daybreak PP23747
Bigleaf Hydrangea Cityline® Berlin / Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Berlin Rabe’ PP10,912
Wine & Roses® Weigela / Weigela florida ‘Alexandra’ pp#10,772, cbr#2642
‘Apricot Drift’ Rose / Rosa ‘Apricot Drift’
In this example:
There is no registered trademark symbol indicated the brand is legally protected.
Rosa is a scientific name for the genus, but “Apricot Drift” is the trademarked name
Other Examples Of Improper Usage
‘Endless Summer’ Hydrangea / Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Endless Summer’
Berberis thunbergii ‘Daybreak’
Hydrangea ‘Cityline Berlin’