MPEP Q & A 17: Plants That are Not Patentable



Name two types of plants that are not patentable.


All plants are patentable except:

  • bacteria
  • those that are tuber propagated
  • plants that are not invented or discovered in a cultivated state and asexually reproduced
  • plants that are not obvious

Chapter Details:

The answer to this question can be found in chapter 1600 of the MPEP. This chapter covers plant patents.

The answer is from the 9th Edition, Revision 07.2015. Depending on future changes to the MPEP, the question and answer may or may not be applicable in later Editions or revisions.

Section Summary:

This question and answer comes from section 1601 of the MPEP.  The following is a brief summary of section 1601.

1601     Introduction: The Act, Scope, Type of Plants Covered

This section provides an introduction to plant patents.  Essentially, whoever invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant, including cultivated sports, mutants, hybrids and newly found seedlings (other than a tuber propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state) may obtain a plant patent. Further details on the types of plants that are patentable are covered.


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