[105th Congress Public Law 289]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]

[DOCID: f:publ289.105]

[[Page 112 STAT. 2780]]

Public Law 105-289
105th Congress

                                 An Act

To amend title 35, United States Code, to protect patent owners against 
unauthorized sale of plant parts taken from plants illegally reproduced, 
     and for other purposes. <<NOTE: Oct. 27, 1998 -  [H.R. 1197]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Plant Patent 
Amendments Act of 1998.>> 

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. <<NOTE: 35 USC 1 note.>> 

    This Act may be cited as the ``Plant Patent Amendments Act of 

SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES. <<NOTE: 35 USC 163 note.>> 

    (a) Findings.--The Congress makes the following findings:
            (1) The protection provided by plant patents under title 35, 
        United States Code, dating back to 1930, has historically 
        benefited American agriculture and horticulture and the public 
        by providing an incentive for breeders to develop new plant 
            (2) Domestic and foreign agricultural trade is rapidly 
        expanding and is very different from the trade of the past. An 
        unforeseen ambiguity in the provisions of title 35, United 
        States Code, is undermining the orderly collection of royalties 
        due breeders holding United States plant patents.
            (3) Plant parts produced from plants protected by United 
        States plant patents are being taken from illegally reproduced 
        plants and traded in United States markets to the detriment of 
        plant patent holders.
            (4) Resulting lost royalty income inhibits investment in 
        domestic research and breeding activities associated with a wide 
        variety of crops--an area where the United States has 
        historically enjoyed a strong international position. Such 
        research is the foundation of a strong horticultural industry.
            (5) Infringers producing such plant parts from unauthorized 
        plants enjoy an unfair competitive advantage over producers who 
        pay royalties on varieties protected by United States plant 

    (b) Purposes.--The purposes of this Act are--
            (1) to clearly and explicitly provide that title 35, United 
        States Code, protects the owner of a plant patent against the 
        unauthorized sale of plant parts taken from plants illegally 
            (2) to make the protections provided under such title more 
        consistent with those provided breeders of sexually reproduced 
        plants under the Plant Variety Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 2321

[[Page 112 STAT. 2781]]

        et seq.), as amended by the Plant Variety Protection Act 
        Amendments of 1994 (Public Law 103-349); and
            (3) to strengthen the ability of United States plant patent 
        holders to enforce their patent rights with regard to 
        importation of plant parts produced from plants protected by 
        United States plant patents, which are propagated without the 
        authorization of the patent holder.


    (a) Rights in Plant Patents.--Section 163 of title 35, United States 
Code, is amended to read as follows:

``Sec. 163. Grant

    ``In the case of a plant patent, the grant shall include the right 
to exclude others from asexually reproducing the plant, and from using, 
offering for sale, or selling the plant so reproduced, or any of its 
parts, throughout the United States, or from importing the plant so 
reproduced, or any parts thereof, into the United States.''.
    (b) Effective Date.--The <<NOTE: 35 USC 163 note.>> amendment made 
by subsection (a) shall apply to any plant patent issued on or after the 
date of the enactment of this Act.


    (a) In General.--The United States Patent and Trademark Office shall 
develop and implement statewide computer networks with remote library 
sites in requesting rural States such that citizens in those States will 
have enhanced access to information in their State's patent and 
trademark depository library.
    (b) Definition.--In this section, the term ``rural States'' means 
the States that qualified on January 1, 1997, as rural States under 
section 1501(b) of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 
1968 (42 U.S.C. 379bb(b)).

    Approved October 27, 1998.


            Oct. 9, considered and passed House.
            Oct. 15, considered and passed Senate, amended.
            Oct. 16, House concurred in Senate amendment.