When it comes to patents, most people think of novel inventions like the airplane or lightbulb; however, patent laws also apply to new plant varieties, including cannabis strains. And now that recreational marijuana is legal in Arizona, many people want to experiment with patenting new blends and strains.
The requirements for plant patents are different than for commodities but undergo a similar process. And because the US Patent office now works by the ‘first to file’ rule vs ‘first to invent’, it’s often a race to file as quickly as possible.
However, it’s common for patents to be rejected due to missing or inaccurate information which means there’s a good chance you could lose your opportunity if you make a mistake. It may be more costly up front to go through a patent lawyer, but it’s the best way to make sure your paperwork is accurate and ontime which could save you thousands in the long run.
Even if all you have at the moment is an idea for a new weed strain, we recommend talking to a Scottsdale patent lawyer as soon as possible. They can make sure you have everything you need for a successful application and protect your assets along the way.
Qualifications for Plant Patents
The requirements for plant patents vary slightly from the other 2 types. To begin, U.S. plant patents are strictly limited to asexual reproducing plants. While many strains of cannabis fall into this category, not every strain qualifies and you’ll be required to provide proof.
Second, every application must include a detailed description of the plant, including the novel characteristics that distinguish it from previous strains and specify details about how and where the plant was propagated. At minimum, your variation must differ from known plants by at least one unique characteristic, which cannot be accounted for by growing conditions alone. Additionally, which should go without saying, you cannot patent a new strain you found growing in the wild. It must be something you created.
How Much Does A Plant Patent Cost?
Unfortunately, plant patents aren’t cheap. Typically, the application alone costs between $360 and $720. The examination fees are an additional $170. And on top of these costs are legal fees and other charges, totalling anywhere between $4,660 and $7,620.
It is possible to go through the patent process on your own to avoid extra legal fees. That being said, there is a high rejection rate for applications due to various reasons including deadlines, prior art searches and missing information.
Why You Should Hire A Patent Lawyer
Filing for patents can be a long (and expensive) process through the legal system. With so much on to risk, we think it’s definitely worth weighing your options to hire a professional patent lawyer. Not only do they have access to more resources, but they can evaluate your application from the get go to help you decide if it’s financially worth the patent costs. In the long run, hiring a patent lawyer could save you thousands.