The Fleming brothers were always concerned with ethics in their work and in the industry. While respecting the trade secrets of other hybridizers (by not breeding or propagating others' plants or with any patented material) and at the same time producing some very fine perennials themselves, they showed how a true ornamental hybridizer can produce unique plants through a focused breeding program of their own. It took the Fleming's 50 years to invent a lot of the unique characteristics of their perennials, therefore, they felt it was important to patent these inventions to receive the credit they deserved, keep their name on their hybrids, and to make sure that Fleming's Flower Fields would keep supplying the same quality plants in the same quality manner as always. That is why the Fleming's carefully selected unique hybrids that are improvements on the market, then tested them from 5- 10 years and make sure that they were reproduced only by clones or cuttings to ensure that every plant's quality is the same (seed grown plants can have a lot of variability). It has not always been easy for the Flemings and many plant hybridizers to protect their work, but it has been an eternally worthwhile endeavor for us to continue doing so.
Today as perennials are now booming across the country and world, the plant patent laws are becoming reflective of the need to protect plant hybridizer's inventions and trade secrets (as it would any invention) by updating it's amendments to protect all parts of a patented plant. In the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure, August 2001, p. L-40, the patent law is stated clearly in the following Grant:
'35 U.S.C 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.'
We hope this information is of interest to you; it has had to be of interest to us. We want you to know that we do take ethics seriously at Fleming's Flower Fields, Inc. and we would like you to let us know if you have any concerns with our Fleming Hybrids tm. We will continue to hybridize and propagate only the highest quality perennials that we can. Your happiness is the most important thing so except no substitute.