Spring Meadow Nursery, Bailey Nurseries, Conard-Pyle and Plant Development Services hire Plant Watch to ensure growers follow patent and branding requirements
Spring Meadow Nursery, Bailey Nurseries, Conard-Pyle, and Plant Development Services Inc. are joining forces in a new enterprise aimed at protecting their plant patents and branded programs. Branded programs covered include Proven Winners Color Choice, Encore Azaleas, Endless Summer Collection, First Editions, the Knock Out Family of Roses, Drift Roses, and Southern Living® Plant Collection.
Plant Watch has been hired to inspect nurseries, report on their findings, and collect fines where warranted. Starting this fall, nurseries across the country will be inspected by Plant Watch representatives to see how they are meeting the requirements of these branded programs. Nurseries found to be non-compliant will be assessed a significant fine based on the number of unauthorized plants discovered, and the destruction of those plants will be required.
“Purchasing new varieties doesn’t give a grower the right to take cuttings,” said Jeremy Deppe at Spring Meadow Nursery, which developed the Proven Winners Color Choice brand. “We’ve worked hard to establish our brands and spent tens of thousands of dollars on patents. Enforcing these intellectual property rights is necessary to support our customers and licensees.”
Plant Watch, which started in 2005, is modeled after COPF in Canada, a monitoring program established in 1964. COPF has been inspecting for Spring Meadow Nursery since 2008, resulting in more than $30,000 in fines collected during 2010.
“Everyone agrees that prices need to be improved,” said Plant Watch managing director Peggy Walsh Craig. “We need to sell more plants to more and different kinds of people. Branding, patenting, and monitoring help accomplish these goals. Unfortunately, some growers are taking advantage illegally of the investment made by other growers in these programs.”