Step 1: Searching for a Variety Name
To apply for a plant or seed variety name clearance, first check the variety name lists or the variety name search feature for possible conflicts. It is helpful to read the Facts about Naming Varieties of Seed (pdf) to before naming a new variety. 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. Please read the instructions on how to use the search feature before beginning your search.
Step 2: 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or submit the Variety Name Check Application on-line form.
To prevent variety name conflicts and violations of the Federal Seed Act, we 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 until a release date has been provided (see Step3 below). Variety names cannot be reserved for future use.
Our clearance procedure applies only to kinds regulated under 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.
If you have questions about the validity of the name you have chosen, you may contact our office at the address below.
Stephen R. Malone, Ph.D., CCA/CPAg
US OECD Seed Schemes Program Manager
Seed Regulatory and Testing Division
801 Summit Crossing Place, Suite C
Gastonia, North Carolina 28054-2193
Phone: (704) 810-8888
FAX: (704) 852-4189
Step 3: Permanent Entry in the Variety Name Database
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 email@example.com or you can use the Variety Name Release Date form. Please allow about two weeks for a response.
Providing us with this information will help prevent others from using the same name for the same kind or a closely related kind.
More Information about Variety Names
AMS also issues certificates of protection for new varieties of sexually propagated plants under the Plant Variety Protection Act. The application for plant variety protection requires the same variety name clearance steps as listed above.
Our Seed Regulatory and Testing Division does not clear names for flowers, shrubs, or trees. To request a clearance for those items visit http://www.ishs.org/sci/icralist/icralist.htm.