Don't use patented roses for breeding???!!!

I read an article in the October ARS magazine that talked about hybridizing, and the editors added a PS at the end that has me very puzzled and upset. They said that they do NOT recommend that people use patented roses for breeding! There are no legal reasons not to use patented (or ANY roses) for hybridizing purposes, as far as I know. What could they have possibly meant by that?



I’m sorry, but it means you’ll have to give up hybridizing. Worse still, you’ll have to destroy all those promising seedlings and this year’s seed crop too. I feel so bad about this, for your sake, but the editor must know something. Right? Just think what might happen to the human race if your roses bred with pilfered patented pollen were to breed with nearby native sunflowers . . …

I have often heard folks use the terms “hybridizing” and “propagating” interchangeably. I have had many conversations with rosarians clarifying these two terms. There has also been a lot of activity on the Garden Web forums about making more roses for personal using patented roses with questions like when does the patent expire, or can’t I make one if I am not going to sell it, etc. Could the editor have made this mistake regarding terminology? That would be my assessment.

The U.S. plant patent law explicitly gives patent holders the right to restrict the asexual reproduction of patented plants, but does not put any restrictions on sexual reproduction. The editor is apparently confused about the difference between sexual reproduction and asexual reproduction. Perhaps a remedial sex education class would be in order…

Frankly, I am having a hard time believling that the editor who made that comment didn’t know the difference between sexual and asexual propagation of roses. You’d think someone would catch this sort of error before it went to print.

Paul, who is still marveling over Peter’s pilfered patented pollen piece. :wink: