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PVP Information

About the Seed Laws

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 foreign PVP applications.  Certificate owners have exclusive rights to market and sell 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 U.S. PVPO)
  • Plant Patents – asexually propagated plants except for tubers (issued by U.S. PTO)
  • Utility Patents – for any type of plant showing utility (issued by U.S. PTO)

Important Links

Please follow these links in order to find out more information about the Plant Variety Protection Act, which was written in order to protect scientific advancement in agricultural crops. This law creates an incentive for the development of new and improved varieties.  New varieties, better suited for climate change and pest/disease control, promote agriculture production and food security for an increasing world population.

Plant Variety Protection Act

PVPA Rules of Practice

The Plant Variety Protection Office (PVPO) website can be found below.


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PVPO also posts a public version of the Certificate Status Database monthly or as time permits. PVPO cannot guarantee the accuracy of the Status and Status Date fields or the update frequency of the PVPO Certificate Status Database. This information is provided through the Germplasm Resources Information Network, which is maintained by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service.

The Scanned Certificates database contains pdf format files of PVP certificates that were scanned. Other certificates are added to this database as they are scanned. To the best of our knowledge, the information contained in the database is a copy of the original application for a certificate of protection.

Who may apply for plant variety protection?

Anyone who is the breeder of a unique cultivator of a sexually reproduced or tuber-propagated plant. This applies to citizens of the United States, as well as citizens of countries that are members of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants. The applicant may be an individual, a public institution, or a corporation.