Definition of a Plant Patent

Plant Patent #1
The first patent issued for a plant - H.F. Bosenberg for a climbing or trailing rose.

Definition: A plant patent is a patent issued for newly invented strains of asexually reproducing plants. Tuber propagated plants or wild uncultivated plants may not be patented. Not all countries allow plant patents. The USPTO provides for the granting of a patent to anyone who has invented or discovered and asexually reproduced any distinct and new variety of plant, including cultivated sports, mutants, hybrids, and newly found seedlings, other than a tuber-propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state.

Asexually propagated plants are those that are reproduced by means other than from seeds, such as by the rooting of cuttings, by layering, budding, grafting, inarching, etc.

With reference to tuber-propagated plants, for which a plant patent cannot be obtained, the term “tuber” is used in its narrow horticultural sense as meaning a short, thickened portion of an underground branch. Such plants covered by the term “tuber-propagated” are the Irish potato and the Jerusalem artichoke.