Last month the Farm Bill 2018 (Agricultural Improvement Protection Act of 2018) was signed into law. Section 10108 of that bill pertains to the Plant Variety Protection Act, which now has been amended to include Intellectual Property (IP) protection for asexually reproduced plant varieties.

Previously, asexually reproduced plants were only eligible for IP protections via plant patents. However, now there is an additional new avenue of IP protection for these types of plants via a Plant Variety Protection (PVP) certificate.

The PVP certificate provides the holder with the right to exclude others from using the protected variety to create hybrids and essentially derived varieties. This additional IP protection is not included in plant patents and can provide a very valuable means of IP protection.

In addition, an amendment was made regarding the definition of infringement of plant variety protection so that it is now prohibited to sexually or asexually multiply a protected plant variety under the Act.

For further information, please contact: Laura A. Labeots, Ph.D, J.D., Partner, Husch Blackwell.