The United States Department of Agriculture has issued certificates of protection to developers of 30 new varieties of seed-reproduced and tuber-propagated plants. They include chicory, corn, lettuce, potato, rice and wheat. The Plant Variety Protection Act provides legal protection in the form of intellectual property rights to developers of new varieties of plants.
"A certificate of protection is awarded to an owner of a crop variety after an examination shows that it is new, distinct from other varieties, and genetically uniform and stable through successive generations," said acting administrator David Shipman, Agricultural Marketing Service.
"The public benefits as the recipient of lower prices from increased productivity, and from quality food, feed, fiber and other products, that result directly from improved plant varieties."
The term of protection is 20 years for most crops, and 25 years for trees, shrubs and vines. The owner of a protected variety has exclusive rights to multiply and market the seed of that variety.