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Seed Regulatory and Testing
Variety Names  

Searching for a Variety Name

Please use the variety name lists or the variety name search feature to check proposed variety names for possible conflicts. Also check the Variety Naming Guidelines for information about naming new varieties.

To search for an individual variety name use the, Variety Name Search. This feature contains the same variety names as the downloadable Variety Name Lists accessed under Resources to the right. Please read the instructions on how to use the search feature before beginning your search.

Variety Name Check

Once you have your variety name selected, you can request that the variety name be checked by our office. Please send an email to or submit the Variety Name Check Application on-line form. To prevent variety name conflicts and violations of the Federal Seed Act, the Seed Regulatory and Testing Division will review the variety name you have chosen for a crop kind, prior to the variety being marketed. Please remember that the name will only be cleared, and that this is not a permanent entry in our database. To make the variety name a permanent entry in the Variety Name Database, follow the Variety Name Release Date instructions below. Allow about two weeks for a response.

Variety names cannot be reserved for future use.

If you have questions about the validity of the name you have chosen, you may contact our office at the address below.

Kevin Robinson
Seed Marketing Specialist
Seed Regulatory and Testing Division
801 Summit Crossing Place, Suite C
Gastonia, North Carolina 28054-2193
Phone: (704) 810-7264
FAX: (704) 852-4109

The Plant Variety Protection Office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture issues certificates of protection for new varieties of sexually propagated plants. The application for protection under the Plant Variety Protection Act requires that the name of the variety for which protection is sought must be reviewed by our office.

The Seed Regulatory and Testing Division does not clear names for flowers, shrubs, or trees. To request a clearance for those items go to

Our clearance procedure applies only to kinds regulated by the Federal Seed Act. Note: Because there is no variety name registration system, our database is incomplete. We cannot assure that names cleared are free of conflicts. Further, our clearance conveys no legal precedence to cleared names.

Name of New Variety and Release Date

After the name you have chosen has been cleared through our office, and the decision has been made to use a name, please provide us with information about your new variety and release date or date marketed. Providing this release date makes the cleared variety name a permanent entry in our main database. You can do this by sending us a description including the new name, experimental designation, kind name, originator, the release date (month and year), type, and description. This information can be sent by email to or you can use the Variety Name Release Date form.

Providing us with this information will help prevent others from using the same name for the same kind or a closely related kind.

  Variety Naming Guidelines  
  Variety Name Lists  
  Variety Name Search  
  Variety Name Check Application Form  
  Variety Name Release Date Form  
Additional Information
  Plant Variety Protection Office  
Contact Us
  Contact the Seed Division  
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  Last Modified Date: 11/16/2012