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Re: Breeders' Rights

There you have the problem of theory coming up against reality. Supply and demand.  One reason breeders can't make much money for their introductions is that most new hostas, from an economic standpoint, are not unique enough to be worth much.  I mentioned the patent because it is available, not because I think many hostas are worth patenting.

According to the patent office site, the application fee is, for small entities, $245 for the application and $300 when the patent is issued.  There are maintenance fees due after 3.5, 7.5, and 11.5 years of $425, $975, and $1425 respectively, but these don't have to be paid if it's not worth it. So based on these, it would appear that you can get 3.5 years of protection for $545. No?  Obviously it will cost a lot more if you hire someone to do it for you.

In most cases, if one of the big growers is making a lot of money on a plant, it's because they are growing it, marketing it, and distributing it.  The fact that if you deny them your plant they will just use another indicates how important an individual introduction is.  I'm not bashing the new hostas, I'm talking strictly about the way the business works.  If you have a new hosta and you think it's worth a lot of money, why won't anyone give you much for it?  There is no conspiracy.  All businesses are out to make a profit, so if you offer them a plant and tell them that the only way they can get it instead of their competitors is to pay you for it, theoretically you will find out what your plant is worth.

I'm not talking about the way the world should be according to Bill.  I'm talking about the way it is.  There are simply too many people breeding hostas today for the results of their efforts to be worth much from a business standpoint.  Too many sellers and not enough buyers.  You can have all the breeder's rights you want, but when you start trying to charge people for growing your plant, in most cases they'll just grow a different plant.  I'm not sure I can express this clearly but I'll give it a shot.  Ran is afraid that a tc lab will take his plant and produce a ton of them and make $100,000 and he won't get any of it.  That may happen, but for most hostas, it's not because the individual hosta was worth $100,000, it's what the lab did with it that was worth $100,000.  If you deny them the plant, you won't make the money, they'll still make it, they'll just use a different plant.  That means that it's what the lab is doing - growing, marketing and distributing the plants as a commodity that is worth all that money. All their work and investment is what's making the profit.  The thing for Ran to do is plan his marketing to maximize his profit and stop worrying about what someone else is going to make.  That means to control the distribution as long as is practical, price it at the point that produces the most profit, and do a good job of selling it.

I just don't see any practical way to change things, so it seems to me the best thing to do is to do the best you can with the way things are.


AmberWaveG@aol.com wrote:

A suave person can have the whole patent done by himself for about $1500.00,
start to Finnish. But what do you do then? Unless you have at least a three
year contract with a bunch of large wholesale nurseries there was no point to
start with. H.Tattoo is really the only hosta success story that has been
patented. 80 out of 100 plants being patented today have a shelf life of two
to three years and they are discarded for the new ones year after year. Since
no one can propagate them, who wants them. When you say the word royalty it
can make one think of wealth and riches. Hardly so; the average royalty being
paid today to hybridizers is 10 to 15 cents a plant. They have to sell one
hell of a lot of plants just to make your money back; remember, even if you
have the best agent out there you will still be the one who pays for the
patent, the patent writer, the patent application and the actual patent, if
you are even granted one. All for the grand sum of 10 to 15 cents a plant.
Also there aren't many plant agents even interested in hostas. Oh yes, and
don't forget who is going to enforce all of the laws of the plant patent.
Well, thats too much typing for me.
Have a good day and a better evening.

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