Patent and Trademark Monitoring Program Completes Over 250 Inspections
The Plant Watch nursery inspection program aimed at protecting plant patents and branded programs has completed another successful year according to Proven Winners Color Choice, Encore Azaleas, Endless Summer Collection, First Editions, The Knock Out Family of Roses, Drift Roses and Southern Living Plant Collection. In 2013, over 250 inspections were carried out from New York to California and from Ohio to Louisiana. “The repeated Plant Watch visits show that we can clean up troubled areas where unauthorized propagation was rampant. Plant Watch will continue inspecting these regions and others to support the growers who are respecting our investment in branding,” said Kip McConnell from Plant Development Services Inc. (PDSI), the developers of the Encore azaleas brand and the Southern Living Collection. Nurseries across the country have undergone inspections by seasoned Plant Watch representatives to see how growers meet the requirements of these branded programs and respecting the patents. Growers who comply with patent and branding requirements are at a disadvantage when infringers undercut prices. To support their network of compliant growers, Spring Meadow Nursery, Bailey Nurseries, Conard-Pyle and Plant Development Services Inc. have used Plant Watch services since 2011 to monitor and inspect nurseries and collect fines for unauthorized propagation where warranted. Plant Watch has intervened with infringers to curtail illegal activities for more than eight years. Nurseries found to be non-compliant are assessed a significant fine based on the number of unauthorized plants discovered, and the destruction of those plants is required. For more information on Plant Watch, visit www.plantwatch.org.