Patents and trademarks: My plants broke the law

| December 27, 2012 |
Patents and trademarks: My plants broke the lawThe Idaho StatesmanDistinctiveness has always been a potential bone of contention, especially since DNA fingerprinting can now be used to unlock a plant's genetic code, some of which is just “junk,” not expressing any trait. Patents are valid for about 20 years, after ...and more »

The intricacies of plant patenting came home for me this past year with a shipment of strawberry plants.

Strawberry plants send out runners, thin stems on the ends of which new plants form, which themselves take root and bear fruits and send out more runners. Those daughter plants forming at the ends of runners are useful for filling in a strawberry bed as well as for transplanting elsewhere to make a new bed.

But these particular plants that I bought last spring were a patented variety (Chandler). So transplanting those daughter plants would constitute a crime.

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