- Title. The title must include the market name of the plant. The name of the plant is searched to assure that it has not previously been used to describe a plant of the same botanical or market class, or is confusingly similar to an existing plant sharing the same botanical or market class.
- Oath or declaration. The oath or declaration is reviewed to assure that it is of the proper plant format noted above, that it is properly signed and dated, and it includes applicant's address.
- Presence of an Abstract. The abstract is reviewed for length and content. An abstract must be present, and should be on a separate page.
- Arrangement of the components of the specification. The application will be reviewed to ensure that each required component of the application is present, that proper headings are presented, and that each component is within the preferred arrangement presented above.
Completeness of Botanical DescriptionThe description of the plant must be complete to the point of reasonably distinguishing the claimed plant from the most closely related plants, both patented and unpatented.
If the claimed plant is of a species which has not been previously patented, the details of the specification will be compared with available descriptions of the species to assure that the specification describes at least one clearly distinguishing trait not previously described as characteristic of the species,or a combination of characteristics which are unusual within the species.
If applicant's description is broad or brief, and such description falls within general descriptions of the species of claimed plant, this will form a bonafide basis of rejection.
If major characteristics of the plant have not been botanically described, the disclosure will be objected to (and the claim rejected) by the examiner as incomplete with the reasoning of the examiner forming a basis for objection/rejection.
Prior Art & Novelty of the Claimed PlantThe description of the claimed plant will be compared with the closest available prior art. Prior art constitutes those plants known and available to the skilled artisan at the time of applicant's invention. If the disclosure of the application does not distinguish the claimed plant over such previously known and available plants (either patented or unpatented) the claim will be rejected as failing to distinguish the claimed plant over the known plant.
A plant patent or published botanical description of the prior art plant will be cited to establish the existence of the referenced plant. Should such a rejection be extended, it becomes incumbent on the applicant to amend the disclosure to include further botanical description of the claimed plant to distinguish over the known plant, if such is possible. Alternatively, or in addition, the applicant may argue how and why the originally filed disclosure factually distinguishes the inventive plant over the plant of the reference.