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Patent Questions

Posted by ashley05 5b-6a (My Page) on
Fri, May 23, 14 at 8:55

Hi all!
Yesterday, I bought a new plant, a Schefflera arboricola 'Moon Drop' from Exotic Angel. It is patented. I have been reading about plant patents, but I want to make sure I understand everything. I'm not looking to debate the merits of plant patents, I am just looking to see what I can do legally.

The plant has both a PP number and a number that says PVNIII. I know the PP number is the patent number, but what is the PVN number?

I know that I can't propagate this plant for 20 years, but is it 20 years after the patent was issued (2004) or the date the patent was filed (2002)?

I bought one container of this plant, but there were three plants in it. Can I put each one in its own container, or do they have to stay in one? On the flipside of that, can I take cuttings and put them in the same pot as the rest of them to make the plant more full?

I think that's it for now. Thanks!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Patent Questions

If you're not earning money from them, do whatever you want with your plants.

If you want to sell them then you can run into legal issues.

RE: Patent Questions

You can move them all to separate pots or leave them all in the same pot. Some would say there's less competition by moving them to separate pots, but I think it's personal preference really. I don't how easy it is to make cuttings and root them (Scheffleras at least), but if you can successfully do so, go for it.

I think the reason for the patent is not so you can't make cuttings and grow new plants, etc, it's so that you don't sell the plants and make a profit off of them. Especially if you're attempting to market it as the hybrid you came up with (well, I guess trying to make money off of them period, really).


RE: Patent Questions

1. It is 20 years from the date the patent was issued.
2. Separating the plants is allowed.
3. Taking cuttings and rooting (or grafting/budding to another stock) is "asexual propagation" and is not permitted (whether selling or not selling).

RE: Patent Questions

Diane is correct.

It is a common misconception that patented plants can be propagated as long as they won't be put up for sale. It's illegal to do so, even for people simply wanting to increase their personal population of that plant.

RE: Patent Questions

But it is also true that there is little to no way for the patent holder to find out that you have done so unless you are foolishly brazen enough to tell people.

The patent is mainly aimed at industry.

RE: Patent Questions

Thanks to everyone who answered. It looks like my instincts were right :-)

RE: Patent Questions

If I buy a patented machine or tool or piece of electronics and I choose to modify it in some way or make parts for them myself there is nothing anyone can do about it. I bought it and it's mine to do what I what with it as long as I am not infringing on the patent holders right to earn an income from said item, such as reverse engineering it and selling illegal copies.

A living plant is a dynamic and changing thing. There isn't any way other than a DNA test to prove that a plant you're growing is any of a number of cultivars out there and may not be genetically unique anyhow.

RE: Patent Questions

I agree with Dellis..Hi Danny.
Hi everyone,

Ashley, If your new plant has multiple trunks, divide and re-pot all you want.
I wouldn't sell, 'even though it's nonsense,' on a heavy-traffic site like Ebay.

Can you post a photo? Toni

RE: Patent Questions

Sure, Toni. Here ya go:

Image Hosting by

It's not the greatest picture, and I have no idea why the potting medium looks so wet (it really wasn't as wet as it looks), but here it is.

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