Question regarding commercial advertising

Mark Mazer
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 10:46:30 PDT
" "Resale" and "propagation" and "commercial" all refer to for-profit
business. Non-profit organizations can offer books, plants, seed, etc., for
sale without crossing copyright -- and as far as I've found out -- patent
regulations. Plant patents are also legally suspect."

This statement is patently false in the US regarding asexually propagated
patented plants (with minor exceptions, like a new sport) and has been the
law since 1930.


Mark Mazer
Hertford, NC

On Thu, Jun 21, 2018 at 12:42 PM, Jo&Greg <> wrote:

> Perhaps a note or two regarding patented plants may help. My comments come
> from my experience with publishing, and copyright info in both USA and
> Canada ... copyright is slightly different yet using the same underlying
> principles as a patent.
> "Resale" and "propagation" and "commercial" all refer to for-profit
> business. Non-profit organizations can offer books, plants, seed, etc., for
> sale without crossing copyright -- and as far as I've found out -- patent
> regulations. Plant patents are also legally suspect. You cannot patent a
> recipe or technique and the horrible Monsanto cases against the grain
> farmers aside, some feel the change in the plant is more like a recipe
> shift than something new or unique (the DNA is not fundamentally changed),
> and natural self-sowing or seed drift from natural sources are outside the
> purview of an intent to retail a product. That said, plants can at present
> be patented.
> So, I'd go ahead and have that plant sale and seed swap. And remember,
> though we are not a group of veggies farmers, when it comes to Big Hort:
> "Control my food, control my politics, control distribution, control my
> politics." Just my old-hippie-somewhat-anarchistic opinion.
> Jo Canning
> Vancouver Island, Canada
> -----Original Message-----
> From: pbs <> On Behalf Of Jan
> Jeddeloh
> Sent: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 4:10 PM
> To: Pacific Bulb Society <>
> Subject: Re: [pbs] Question regarding commercial advertising
> While we’re griping about Big Horticulture I’d like to add my gripe about
> patented plants.  I’ve been stung too often by patented pretty faces and
> have learned that a patent does not necessarily reflect the value or
> grow-ability of the plant, although it seems like it ought to.  Too often
> big nurseries patent every tiny variation and rush the plant to market.
> Sometimes it appears they apply for a patent just to lock up the market for
> a year or two and then stop producing the plant once the word gets out that
> it’s not a good doer.  You go to the nursery, are smitten with the pretty
> face, bring home your new plant whereupon it promptly dies.  I’ve had this
> experience several times.  And don’t get me started on the million
> heucheras or coneflowers out there. They are sold as perennials but most
> have an annual life in your normal, less than perfect home garden.  You
> know, the home garden that does not have the mythical well drained, evenly
> moist soil.
> Patented plant are also becoming a problem for plant society plant sales.
> I organize our NARGS chapter participation in the Hortlandia sale and we
> have to watch that we don’t offer patented plants.  As more and more plants
> are patented it will become harder to find plants we can propagate.  Yes
> growing from seed it great but many of our members want to donate divisions
> and cutting grown plants.  Plant tags get lost and it would be very easy to
> inadvertently offer a patented plant for sale.
> I realize plant breeders want to get some kind of return from their
> investment of time and money but it shouldn’t be too much to ask that the
> plants be good doers and truly unique. They should also be adequately
> trailed.  One or two years is just not enough.  I have found a couple of
> patented plants that are worth growing.  Geranium “Roxanne” blooms all
> summer, does not spit seed all over and is tough.  Salvia “Amistad”, while
> tender, puts on a great summer show and is much beloved by bees and
> hummingbirds.  It also seems rather silly to patent plants that will self
> propagated.  If it’s going to form a big clump you can easily hack apart
> gardeners are going to share it around.  This takes no real skill.  If you
> want to patent a plant it ought to require a bit of skill to propagate or
> you will lose the battle of controlling its propagation.
> To bring this back around to bulbs does anyone know of any patented
> bulbs?  I know Terra Nova at one point had applied for a patent on a
> Cyclamen coum selection with a Christmas tree marking on the leaves.  I
> wonder if this was denied because it wouldn’t be hard to find look a likes
> in many groups of coum seedlings. It’s not in their current catalog.
> Jan Jeddeloh
> > On Jun 20, 2018, at 9:59 AM, Jane McGary <>
> wrote:
> >
> > I've been purchasing plants and bulbs for about 35 years now. I'm
> fortunate to live in Clackamas County, Oregon, which has more nurseries
> than any other US county, so "local" can mean anything from a daphne at the
> farmers' market to a viburnum from the big Monrovia fields on the other
> side of the river. I buy some unusual cultivars and rooted cuttings for
> cutflowers by mail order, mostly from specialty nurseries. Most years I
> obtain some commercial bulbs for planting out in front of the house --
> daffodils to distract the bulb fly from the good ones in back, anemones and
> crocuses for the bulb lawn, etc. Almost all of my bulb "collection" has
> been grown from seed.
> >
> > I agree with Robin that there's false advertising by large commercial
> nurseries, but small ones do so as well, especially in exaggerating
> cold-hardiness. They may not mean to, but if you're growing plants on an
> island you don't have the same conditions as most of your customers who
> live 150 km or more inland. Conversely, nurseries in colder areas who keep
> all their stock in greenhouses may produce plants that are hard to
> acclimate to outdoor conditions anywhere. Growing your own from seed is
> likely to result in losses, but the survivors will be easier to keep, and
> much cheaper.
> >
> > Two years ago I had the experience Ellen mentions of buying a shrub that
> had been bulked up by keeping two cuttings in one pot, but I got it at the
> farmers' market and the grower told me about it. It's a hybrid daphne; I
> was able to disentangle the root systems, potted them separately for a
> couple of months before planting out, and now have two very fine shrubs.
> This spring I went on a spending spree on Dianthus cultivars. One nursery
> sent me excellent plants, but another's plants had been in their pots far
> too long (I repotted them and waited until they recovered to plant them
> out). I almost never put a purchased plant into the garden the day after I
> get it. For one thing, you have to watch them for disease.
> >
> > As for bulbs that fail, it helps to understand the growth cycles,
> natural habitats, and structure of the particular species and genera. Bulbs
> with strong tunics, such as tulips, can stand dry storage much better than
> those without tunics, such as most Fritillaria. A species native to rocky
> desert will survive storage better than one native to river meadows. A
> species native to the alpine zone may not flourish without a long winter
> dormancy (hence the plants "hardy in Denver" that can't be grown in lowland
> gardens). It is also instructive to learn how commercial bulbs are grown
> and processed in the Netherlands, where they can be grown in sand, heavily
> fertilized, protected from predators, lifted and kept in warehouses
> controlled for temperature and humidity, and exported in advantageous
> condition. After a month at Home Depot and transfer to a home garden,
> they'll likely perform for a year but that may be the limit of their
> adaptability. Moreover, controlled conditions can suppress the activity of
> viruses, which may resurface in the home garden; that's why all my tulips
> are grown from seed, and I buy lily bulbs only from The Lily Garden, which
> I trust to provide clean stock.
> >
> > So read, read, read, and be prepared to lose some plants anyway. You can
> identify an experienced gardener by their possession of a big bag of
> plantless labels.
> >
> > Jane McGary
> >
> > Portland, Oregon, USA
> >
> >
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> >
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