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I am not a patent lawyer but my understanding of plant patent laws is a bit different then what has been expressed. First there has been one Iris patented. I can't remember the name but it was one done by Schreiners about 20 or 30 years ago. Because of the various restictions that a patent imposes the Iris was not a success and they never did it again. 
I believe that their are implications that have been mis-stated. On a red iris I am sure it will be a particular DNA segment that will be pattented. No Iris with this segment will be allowed unless a royalty is paid to the originator. This means that it can not be used in breeding unless a royalty is paid for all offspring that turn up this segment. In theory you are not even allowed to propagate the original palnt in your garden. I say in theory because no one enforces this unless there is a significant financial loss. 
The fact is that a patented Iris would have to be treated very differently than what individuals and clubs do now. Sharing would not be legal, although who would moniter this. I do believe we should support the idea that some plants be patented. If not, no one will bother to make the investment in producing truly new plants in the future. With todays micropropagation techniques it is possible to distribute millions of patented roses across the USA and their price becomes reasonable. Patented plants will change the way buisiness is done but that is the price of entering a new world.

Linda Mann <lmann@volfirst.net> wrote:
Probably true that seedlings are of known parentage.

But as for parents being known for registered seedlings, not at all
true. Some top award winners have been from unknown parentage. Even
from the most respected hybridizers occasionally lose track of where
some of their best seedlings came from.

Not to mention those who don't keep good records or guess at parents and
claim guesses as fact.

not, the
parents must be known. ...... And MOST
seedlings are of known parentage.>

I wonder how expensive it would be to test.

So if I understand what you are saying, if Neil gets a patent on a
genetically engineered genetic sequence for red genes in iris, gives me
a start of the clone that has it, tells me I can use it for making my
own crosses, I'm ok to do whatever I want with the seedlings.

But if he doesn't explicitly give me permission, I can still make
crosses using his plant, but can't sell them, until the patent expires.

I wonder if a plant would be technically considered "introduced", thus
elligible for awards, if it were advertised to be given away rather than

restricted to the best of my knowledge unless a
patent has been placed on a
specific genetic sequence genetically engineered
(placed into the genome)
artificially because it does not occur naturally in
the iris genome. And if
a specific genetic sequence were patented and placed
into a patented iris it
can also be traced thru to all of it's progeny as to
whether they contain the
gene or not. Thus anyone disputing that a patented
iris was used illegally
(against the patent WITHOUT THE PATENT OWNER'S
PERMISSION) could easily test
the questionable plants to see if they contain the
gene or not.>
Linda Mann east Tennessee USA zone 7/8
East Tennessee Iris Society 
American Iris Society web site 
talk archives: 
photos archives: 
online R&I 

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