Natural Plants Can't Be Patented, USPTO Tells High Court

Law360, New York (January 10, 2013, 5:27 PM EST) -- A person who discovers a naturally existing plant and recognizes its superior qualities cannot obtain a patent on it, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office told the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, urging the justices to reject an appeal by a man who sought to patent century-old trees.

In a petition filed in November, Walter F. Beineke told the high court that the Federal Circuit improperly imposed a requirement that one must create a plant in order to patent it when it affirmed the rejection of...
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