Plant Patents & Canadian Pears

Plant patents rarely make the news, so I was delighted to see a story in this weekend’s Globe and Mail about a new type of pear cultivated by a team of Canadian scientists. The pear, which is known only by the designation “HW614”, is a cross between several types of pears including the familiar Bartletts. It’s described as juicy, sweet and huge, “up to four inches in diameter”. Presumably Agriculture Canada will come up with a catchier name by the time the pear is ready for market in several years.

David Hunter, one of the scientists responsible for creating the new pear, holds three plant patents on pears identified as “HW610” (marketed as “Harrow Crisp”), “HW616” (marketed as “Harrow Gold”) and “Harrow Sweet”, but none for “HW614”. Perhaps a application is in the works. Most of the research on pears is done at the University of Guelph’s Vineland research station, near St. Catherines, Ontario.

The patent classification for pears is PLT/176 with subclasses for Ornamental (PLT/177), Asian (PLT/178) and Rootstock (PLT/179). Since 1930 the USPTO has issued approximately 80 patents for pears.

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2 Responses to Plant Patents & Canadian Pears

  1. vmar10159 says:

    Mike-Great job with the blog! I was wondering if you’ve strayed across any source that has patent litigation stats based on the classifications of the patents which are litigated. Ive seen patstats.org for litigation stats, but ive not come across any breakdown of what types of patents are being litigated. Any ideas?Thanks,Vince

  2. Vince Good question. I don’t know of any source that publishes litigation stats by technology. In addition to patstats.org, the federal court system publishes IP litigation stats, but not by tech. I have seen a few studies that breakdown litigation by broad technology areas. See the citations below.Patent Litigation ExplosionAmerican Law & EconomicsAssociation Annual MeetingsYear 2005 Paper 57http://law.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1532&context=aleaCharacteristics of Patent Litigation: A Window on CompetitionJean O. Lanjouw; Mark SchankermanThe RAND Journal of Economics, Vol. 32, No. 1. (Spring, 2001), pp. 129-151.

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