The rise of branded plant collections and proprietary plants has created a need for plant patent services. Breeder Agent Sam McCoy experienced this need firsthand, which inspired him to create a full-service patent agency called Perennial Patent Company. “Our model is simple,” McCoy says. “A breeder can send us their new plant, and we do the rest.”
As a breeder agent for nearly a decade, McCoy has helped a variety of independent breeders, breeding companies and nurseries bring their new introductions to market. In this position, McCoy began to understand the challenges of the patent process.
“It’s a gray area for most breeders and companies,” he says. “It is completely possible that making even one wrong decision can cost you thousands of dollars, and in severe cases, it might even cost you your patent. We provide a straightforward solution that lets breeders focus on breeding without worrying about the pitfalls of the patent process.”
About The Patent Process
Under federal law, the U.S. Patent Office allows two types of individuals to represent plant breeders: patent attorneys and patent agents. Both must meet certain scientific and ethical requirements and both must pass the U.S. Patent Bar exam. As a patent agent, McCoy provides all of the services necessary to obtain a U.S. Plant Patent, which includes preparing the application and representing the breeder before the U.S. Patent Office. He also provides plant morphology data collection and plant description drafting for breeders that lack the time, knowledge or resources to do so themselves.
“This was a natural progression for us,” McCoy says. “We know the new plant industry. We know plant science and we know the patent process. It made perfect sense to combine all of these services to create a one-stop shop for plant patents.”
Perennial Patent Co. streamlines the process by performing all of the necessary horticultural and legal services in-house. The goal is to significant cost savings and reduces the chance of error caused by miscommunication between various service providers. McCoy notes while there are other qualified individuals offering similar services to the industry, “we think our work in new plant introduction as a breeder agency gives us unique insight that proves advantageous for anyone looking for a cost effective option for patents.”