Plant Watch ensures level playing field
Feb. 10, 2015 — Proven Winners® ColorChoice®, Encore® Azaleas, Endless Summer Collection®, First Editions®, The Knock Out® Family of Roses, Drift® Roses, Sunset Western Garden Collection™ and Southern Living® Plant Collection are pleased with the results from the Plant Watch® nursery inspection program that expanded into Canada in 2014.
The Plant Watch® program has completed another successful year of protecting plant patents, Plant Breeders’ Rights (PBR) and branded programs. In 2014, over 300 inspections were carried out from New York to British Columbia, and from Ontario to Florida.
“Now that Plant Watch has completed a fourth year of inspections, it is obvious there is greater industry acceptance of brand compliance and plant patent law,” said Natalia Hamill, brand & business development manager at Bailey Nurseries.
“The vast majority of growers cooperate with the inspectors. We appreciate all the growers who take the time to become familiar with brand requirements and follow the rules.”
Nurseries across the U.S. and Canada have undergone an inspection by seasoned Plant Watch representatives to document to what degree growers respect patents, PBRs and trademarks.
INVESTMENT IN BREEDING MUST BE ENCOURAGED
It’s well known how expensive it is to establish a plant brand in our industry. Growers who comply with patent, PBR and branding requirements are at a disadvantage when infringers undercut prices.
In order to support their network of compliant growers, Spring Meadow Nursery, Bailey Nurseries, The Conard-Pyle Co., and Plant Development Services Inc. have used Plant Watch services since 2011 to monitor and inspect nurseries and collect fines for unauthorized propagation where warranted.
Plant Watch® has a proven track record in the industry, and has successfully intervened with infringers to curtail their illegal activities for over nine years.
According to Plant Watch executive director Sylvia Mosterman, “our industry has taken a leap forward by putting new varieties in front of consumers with professional marketing. Consumer excitement grows for new varieties from trusted brand names. Protecting the investment brand owners make in marketing and product development with nursery inspections makes it fairer for growers who are playing by the rules and ultimately benefits the consumer.”
SIGNIFICANT FINES IMPOSED
Nurseries found to be non-compliant are assessed a significant fine based on the number of unauthorized plants discovered, and the destruction of those plants is required.
Growers are reminded that varieties covered by plant patents and Plant Breeders’ Rights require permission to propagate. And the use of trade names such as Wine & Roses® weigela and The Knock Out® rose is protected.
Be responsible. Ask before you propagate or use a trademark!