A common concern for new plant breeders is, “how do I bring my new plant to market?” This is a very good question! Navigating the twists and turns along the path of new plant introductions in the garden world can often overwhelm new breeders. Good news: Must Have Perennials is here to help you! Read on for tips on bringing a new plant to market.
Before You Bring A New Plant To Market
You’re probably pretty excited about the lovely new plant you’ve bred or discovered! However, there are some important steps to consider to ensure your endeavor is protected. You’ve put in all of the hard work, so you deserve to be compensated for all of your efforts. Before you publicize your new plant, it’s wise to learn as much as possible about the plant patent process. Understanding the basics will help set you up for success when your new plant finally reaches the market.
From a horticultural perspective, it’s important that you know as much as possible about your new plant. Do you have a sense of its stability? Have you observed it reverting or mutating? Do you know its maximum height and bloom time? You should thoroughly document your plant’s unique traits and characteristics to assist in the patent process.
What’s In A Patent?
A patent ensures that other individuals, organizations or companies can’t profit off of your product without compensating you, the plant’s creator. Per Investopedia, “a plant patent is an intellectual property right that protects a new and unique plant’s key characteristics from being copied, sold or used by others.” Plant patents typically provide protection for twenty years. A plant without a patent is considered “public domain” and can be propagated and sold by anyone who wishes to do so. Once information is in the public domain about the plant, you then have a 12 month period from the first date of publication and/or sales to file for a US Plant Patent (including anywhere outside the USA).
It’s important to resist the temptation to introduce your plant to the world before you’ve gotten all of your ducks in a row. Avoid posting any pictures, descriptions or names of your discovery on social media or websites before securing a patent. You should also refrain from entering your new plant in contests or distributing seeds or cuttings to other people. The less people know about your new plant, the better protected you are during the patent process. For more information, check out the US Patent and Trademark Office’s plant patent page.
How We Can Help
Once you reach this point, you may want to consult with a breeder agent like Must Have Perennials. We can help assess whether your new plant will fill a current opening in the market and conduct quality trials to ensure it’s a reliable performer.
Must Have Perennials trials potential introductions at secure testing facilities worldwide in all types of climates and conditions to thoroughly test the merits of each plant over a period of years. Ongoing testing at universities and botanic gardens further documents regional plant performance over time.
We can also assist you in the patent application process and licensing for worldwide production, distribution and royalty collection. Must Have Perennials markets all of our varieties across the international horticulture industry, including propagators, growers and retailers. We also promote our varieties to the garden consumer market through the Rozanne and Friends® marketing program.
We have over 25 years of experience in plant protection, trialing and marketing to help you plan out the best path to bring your plant to market. Our connections to produce and sell perennial plants are extensive, including young plant and finished plant growers and retailers, along with garden designers and communicators to promote perennials all the way through to consumers interested in gardening as part of their lifestyle.
See some of the plant breeders we’ve successfully partnered with in our Breeder Brochure.
We’d love to hear from you! Contact us with details of your new plant discovery so we can discuss its potential.