Plant Variety Protection Act (PVPA)

Approved on December 23, 1970, the PVPA offers legal protection to developers of new releases or varieties of plants that reproduce sexually, that is, through seed. Developers of plants that reproduce asexually have received protection from the U.S. Patent Office since 1930. The law states that protection will be extended to a “novel variety” if it has these three qualifications: Distinctness – The variety must differ from all known prior varieties by one or more identifiable morphological, physiological, or other characteristic; Uniformity – If any variations exist in the variety, they must be describable, predictable, and commercially acceptable; and Stability – When sexually reproduced, the variety must remain unchanged in its essential and distinctive characteristics to a degree expected of similarly developed varieties. [Source: USDA National Plant Materials Manual]

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