How to register as a breeder

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asking how long to expect a response to take

To what?

To hearing from the ARS about obtaining a breeder’s code. It seems variable from the comments I’ve read in several forums. Sometimes it’s fairly swift, usually it takes time. It’s as if it’s either one person working part time and is over loaded or it’s done by volunteers who are understaffed. In either case, don’t give up, they seem to always get back to you.

And in case anyone has difficulty locating the registration submission form, it’s here

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Is there a basic checklist in preparing to introduce a new rose? I’m guessing, first check HMF to make sure the name isn’t taken, right? and Google, of course. Other databases? And then . . . ? Baby steps here. Thanks :nerd_face:

The first thing is to determine to the best of your ability that the variety is distinct from any others. The name must ultimately be published, accompanied by a description, in order to become established (the ARS should ensure that this is done correctly during the process of registration). As for naming, if you use a code name (typically starting with the three-letter code that you were given when you registered as a breeder with the ARS), then the chances of duplicating an existing name are very slim. When you register the variety with the ARS, they will ensure that the name is unique–that is one of the bedrock principles of the registration authority with which they have been entrusted. Most rose “names” as perceived by consumers these days are actually trade designations, which exist outside of the formal rules of cultivated plant nomenclature and are generally (are supposed to be) used only in addition to the actual cultivar names. Trade designations, often formal or semi-formal trademarks, are not governed by the same set of rules and are not actually regarded as names under the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants. As a breeder, checking to see if a cultivar name or trade designation has been used before is always a good idea as a first step. If you want to market your rose through a third party (a marketing firm, essentially a “middleman”), you may very well not have ultimate control over the trade designation that is chosen, but a cultivar name cannot be assigned against your wishes.


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First, ARS. Then, on HMF, can I add the name I’d like?

For example, the rose in my I. D. photo on this forum, I’d like to name after my late mother. The name has not been used yet.

That approach should work nicely. Registering the epithet with the ARS first will ensure that everything is done by the book, and that the name will be published in an accepted format with a description (which is a necessary condition of cultivar name establishment even if one chose to avoid registration). You should be able to add an entry for your selection on HMF even before a cultivar name is chosen, established and/or registered, using (for instance) a code number or number that you may already use to refer to it. Of course, anyone who wants to patent a selection in the U.S.–I’m assuming that you probably don’t, but I’ll mention it just in case–must avoid publicizing anything about it, including photos, until within a year of submitting the the patent application. U.S. plant introduction firms will also want to know that any selection brought to them for consideration has not already been publicly disclosed.

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