Field of Barley

Plant Variety Protection

Regulatory Update

The 2018 Farm Bill, Public Law No: 115-334, Sec. 10108, December 20, 2018, amended the U.S. Plant Variety Protection Act to add asexually propagated plants, previously not available under the act. The amendment necessitates a revision of the U.S. Plant Variety Protection Regulations. A proposed rule is under development and will be published in the U.S. Federal Register. This proposed rule informs the public of the amendment and provides the opportunity for public comment. For more information please contact the U.S. Plant Variety Protection Office at

The Plant Variety Protection Office (PVPO) provides intellectual property protection to breeders of new varieties of seeds and tubers.  Implementing the Plant Variety Protection Act (PVPA), we examine new applications and grant certificates that protect varieties for 20 years (25 years for vines and trees).  Our certificates are recognized worldwide and allow faster filing of PVP in other countries.  Certificate owners have rights to exclude others from marketing and selling their varieties, manage the use of their varieties by other breeders, and enjoy legal protection of their work.

In the U.S. there are 3 types of intellectual property protection that breeders can obtain for new plant varieties:

  • Plant Variety Protection - seed and tubers (issued by PVPO)
  • Plant Patents - asexually propagated plants except for edible tubers (issued by the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO)
  • Utility Patents - for genes, traits, methods, plant parts, or varieties (issued by the PTO)

Our services create an incentive for the development of new and improved varieties.  New varieties, better suited for the environment and pest/disease control, promote agriculture production and food security for an increasing world population.

To apply for a new PVP, review the application requirements.

For more information, contact:

USDA, AMS, S&T, Plant Variety Protection Office
1400 Independence Ave., S.W.
Rm. 4512-South Bldg., Mail Stop 0274
Washington, DC 20250-0002
Office: (202) 260-8983

Additional Resources