May 2012


In recent weeks, we’ve seen several advertisements (from one major British garden retailer in particular) suggesting that breeders/finders of new plants could “earn £500 for your new plant”. And, frankly, we’re horrified.

Never sign over the rights to your new plant for a fixed-price deal like this (unless the fixed price has a lot more zeros on the end!). The lifetime potential income from even a modestly successful plant variety that is eligible for Plant Variety Rights will be many times the sum offered.

Consider this: typically, offers of this nature are made by a single grower. They will wish to exploit your variety for profit for many years in their market. In addition, they will licence the plant to growers in other markets (on the Continent, in the US, in Australia, etc) and derive income from those markets. And each of these growers may sell thousands, tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of your plant each year. Even with a low royalty of three or four pence, that adds up to a lot more than £500!

So, please protect your own interests in your variety – it is, after all, your property and should remain so. Engage the services of an agent, like PFE, who will work to protect your interests and maximise your income potential whilst the plant remains entirely, 100%, your property.

Plants For Europe works hard to obtain press coverage for our breeders and plants, taking care to ensure that such coverage is timely to ensure the maximum yield for improved sales. This can be done by means of press releases, interviews and paid-for content, depending on the circumstances.

As an example, we are currently entering the peak sales season in the UK for Nemesia. To help boost the profile of varieties under our management, PFE has worked with Planteria News to arrange a “Breeder of the Month” feature on Martine Tellwright. You can read it here.

PFE also uses social media – we have a presence on Twitter and Facebook. This is particularly useful for keeping in contact with journalists. And, of course, there is this blog, which people use to find out the latest news from PFE HQ.

If you would like to know how we can help you with your plant, please contact us.

We frequently hear of IP scams that are doing the rounds – attempts to fleece the owners and users of IP by unscrupulous individuals and organisations. But this week, for the first time, we met a trademark scam “in the flesh” when one of our customers received a letter demanding money to publicise the recent transfer of ownership of a trademark.

Of course, such transfers are publicised in the official gazettes of the intellectual property offices concerned and this is included in any fees that are paid to them. So there is no need to further publicise it in any third-party publications, particularly as these publications have no official status.

The World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) has a useful webpage showing some of the scam letters that are currently doing the rounds. If you receive a letter that you think might be a scam, it would be worth checking against this list. Click here to visit the WIPO page.

I can report that our customer was savvy to the scam and wasn’t taken in, particularly after they checked back with us to see what we knew about it.