Plant Trademarked – Meaning?

Q: I have a rose tag that says “The Squire tm” and then has the word “Ausire” underneath. What does this mean?

A: It means that you have a patented rose and can not propagate it from cuttings. Plant breeders, like Star Roses, go to considerable effort to develop superior plants. They protect their work by patenting their best products. The first-ever plant patent was issued to ‘New Dawn’ rose in 1931.

Plant patents, however, expire after twenty years. To keep continuous control of their products, breeders also trademark plant names. Trademarks can be extended indefinitely. In most cases, the trademark name is not the same as the patented name. Such is the case with your rose. It was patented as ‘Ausire’ but trademarked as ‘The Squire’. You can propagate cuttings of it when the patent runs out but you’ll have to call it something different, perhaps ‘Payne’s Favorite’.

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