Group Looks At Effects Of America Invents Act On Plant Breeders

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By Catherine Saez

CIOPORA, an international association of plant breeders, held its annual meeting recently with a focus on novelties in plant patents introduced by the America Invents Act, to become effective on 16 March 2013.

According to a press release [pdf] on the outcome of the meeting and an article by two patent experts in the CIOPORA Chronicle, three major areas of plant patenting are related: grace period, priority claim and novelties in procedures.

[Corrected] The one year “grace period”, which allows plant breeders to file a plant patent application within the year following announcement or commercialisation of their inventions, has been maintained in the America Invents Act. There had been some expectation that it might be removed.

Plant patent applicants must indicate the priority claim for the earlier plant breeders’ rights application issued by the respective governmental authority when applying for a US plant patent. Once the priority claim is confirmed, the effective date for the US plant patent will be considered to be the earlier plant breeder’s rights application, according to the release.

Third parties can submit information relevant to the patentability of new plant varieties or challenge the plant patent after it has been granted under the new act, CIOPORA said.

CIOPORA is the International Association of Breeders of Vegetatively Reproduced Ornamental and Fruit Varieties.

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