Author Topic: Breeding from patent plants (food for thought)  (Read 447 times)

Pandan

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 233
    • Southeast USA
    • View Profile
Breeding from patent plants (food for thought)
« on: March 20, 2023, 07:06:42 PM »
I was looking at a citrus tree called "sugarbelle":
this thing has absurd rights on it copied from the everbrite site below:

"“Sugar Belle® ‘LB8-9’ (U.S. Patent PP21,356) -Propagation prohibited by law. Trees and fruit may not be resold or distributed.”"

I can't even buy this plant and am just window shopping however having a plant I can legally get sued for sharing scions of due to IP isn't appealing even in my fantasy garden world.  This isn't anything new of course (this tree is an old release) but for NEWBIES this is intimidating.

But what if I used the pollen or seeds from this tree to breed something? Is that also patented?

According to Tennessee Extension this is fine so long as there isn't a total resemblance:
"What would happen if I allowed my patented
brambles to go to seed and instead of buying
plants the following year, I plant the seeds from
the previous year?"
"This is NOT considered infringement BUT there is
the risk of claims of infringement if the resulting
plants are similar to the patented parent plants.

So until further notice as long as your plant has distinguishing characteristics from the patent its offspring should be fine and IP free

Patents aren't the only type of IP protection though.  "Utility plants" and "Plant Variety Protection" plants cannot be used sexually. Utility plants are often GMO according to Tennesee extension.

Please tell me if i'm wrong!
I'm not well versed in legalese but for hobbyist breeders and hopefuls like me who find plant patents intimidating I hope this helps. Sugar belle has HLB resistance and fungal resistance that may make it an interesting parent for citrus breeders.
Mineolas mostly arent nucellar and with its clementine heritage maybe it won't breed true either so hopefully clones are less of an issue.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2023, 08:02:44 PM by Pandan »

1rainman

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 461
    • Florida
    • View Profile
Re: Breeding from patent plants (food for thought)
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2023, 07:39:22 PM »
They spend a lot of money breeding these so for every plant sold they get a couple dollars. After a period of time it is less of a concern then after more time the copyright expires. All you have to do is not sell clones.

I think the state of Florida owns the patent. I don't know of any lawsuits against a backyard grower. This is mainly for businesses.

I would like a sugar bell crossed with dunstans grapefruit or crossed with a poncirus hybrid might get something edible that has good greening tolerance. Hermaphrodite plants are too difficult for me to cross though.

Sugar bell doesn't have a lot of greening tolerance. Like just enough. I think it would need to be crossed with another tolerant variety but who knows. We have a sugar bell in my dad's yard.

Florida some stuff they release as public domain other stuff they patent. Similar with other states.

Pandan

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 233
    • Southeast USA
    • View Profile
Re: Breeding from patent plants (food for thought)
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2023, 08:01:48 PM »
They spend a lot of money breeding these so for every plant sold they get a couple dollars. After a period of time it is less of a concern then after more time the copyright expires. All you have to do is not sell clones.

I think the state of Florida owns the patent. I don't know of any lawsuits against a backyard grower. This is mainly for businesses.

Oh I'm not against the idea, these programs need funds and yes agreed the local plant swap probably won't get served.
It is intimidating for newer growers to tell what is and isn't ok - esp when people well-intentioned or confused raise alarms over unbreedable IP protected plants. (sort of like how retail seed companies brag about being "non-gmo" whenn the chances of gmo seeds being sold intentionally en masse to the public is low anyways)

Quote
I would like a sugar bell crossed with dunstans grapefruit or crossed with a poncirus hybrid might get something edible that has good greening tolerance. Hermaphrodite plants are too difficult for me to cross though.

also totally agree on thee poncirus bit that was my thinking too

pagnr

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 941
    • View Profile
Re: Breeding from patent plants (food for thought)
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2023, 03:47:08 PM »
As is the case with most "crimes" most people get caught because they tell someone else and word gets around.
If you keep it to yourself, who would know ?
Since the fruit is in the stores, the fruit you have could have come from there.
You can eat it or gift it, just don't say you grew it.

Most Citrus fruit of a known variety can have a level of variation when grown under different conditions.
If you grow seedlings of a patented type, they may be close enough to fit into that variation.
Without genetic testing, an enforcer may claim it is the same.

For a non GMO plant, say a patented Orange X Mandarin hybrid " OMH ",
it would probably be difficult to work out if your new seedling or re crossed plant had genes from the OMH, or genes from the parent Orange or Mandarin varieties.


bussone

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 181
    • Philadelphia, PA (7a)
    • View Profile
Re: Breeding from patent plants (food for thought)
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2023, 04:53:45 PM »
After a period of time it is less of a concern then after more time the copyright expires.

After the patent expires, not a copyright.

Patents have a much briefer term.