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Agricultural Genetics

Our firm has worked on many Plant Variety Protection Act (“PVPA”) cases since its inception. This unique federal agricultural law protects plant breeders and universities alike. We can help breeders and universities protect their future royalties on grains, wheat, grasses, peas, and much more.

In this unique area of the law, we represent some of the nation’s leading plant scientists and university institutions. As part of that work, we urge a strong educational message to farmers and producers on why the royalties they pay for legal seed are important for tomorrow’s seed investment.

History of the PVPA – Why This Unique Law is Important to Scientists

The PVPA, first signed into law in 1970 and amended in 1994, helps provide patent-like rights to those contributing to the development of new varieties of plants. The benefits of this act provide individuals taking the time to improve the industry with the ability to take ownership in the seed and earn a certificate to control its distribution.

Overall, the idea is to protect the owner of the certified seed and allow for the research costs endured to be covered through the sales of the developed product. Protection under the PVPA allows the certificate holder to monitor how the seed is sold or advertised and determines who then may be given permission to do so.

If the owner of the certified seed believes someone has illegally sold or distributed the property, he or she may then bring a civil action against the offenders and receive compensation.

PVPA Benefits U.S. Agriculture and Farmers

  • Encourages development of resourceful wheat varieties.
  • Ensures better agronomic wheat varieties for producers.
  • Provides genetically pure varieties to the producer through the use of certified seed.
  • Ensures ongoing wheat variety development by public and private plant breeders.
  • Grants developers patent-like protection from the sale of protected varieties.
  • Promotes agriculture progress in the public interest.
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