Requirements for a Plant Patent

An inventor has one year to file for a plant patent after selling or distributing the plant. The USPTO will only award a plant patent if the inventor submits a comprehensive botanical description that describes how the plant is unique and includes illustrations that demonstrate the plant’s distinctive traits. The applicant must also meet all of the other specific conditions for a patent application, as well as pay the required fees.
A plant patent can have two inventors: one who found the plant and another who replicated it asexually. If the innovation is the result of a group effort, each team member might be included as a co-inventor.
While a plant patent preserves an inventor’s intellectual property rights for 20 years from the filing date of the patent application, the patent application itself becomes public 18 months after the earliest filing date, allowing rivals to learn about the innovation considerably sooner.
To properly protect a plant, an inventor may need to apply for a utility patent or a design patent in addition to a plant patent. If the new plant variety has a distinctive look, the inventor would seek both a plant and a design patent.