Sunday, March 6, 2022

President's Message - March 2022

Dear Gainesville Rose Society, Thanks to all who came to our pruning workshop at the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens in February. We were able to give some attention to all the bushes and “shovel pruned” a few. Thanks to Cyd and Art Wade and Mary Menoski for a wonderful assortment of Valentine refreshments. Dr. Joe Rush, the host for our March 13 rooting program, will demonstrate how he grows his roses and how to root roses. With the cool weather slowing down our bushes and recent pruning, we may have a shortage of suitable rooting material. If you can, bring a cane about the diameter of a pencil with a flower or bud at the tip. Note the variety. Clippers will be helpful. Everything else you need will be provided.

2 p.m. March 13, 2022 at the home of Dr Joe Rush 6224 Dogwood Lane, Melrose

  • Directions: Coming from the west on SR 26, go past the county boat ramp. Turn left (north) through the gate guarded by Sandhill Cranes and continue to the buildings. If you miss the gate, turn left at the next street, Dogwood Lane, and go to the end of the median and turn left.
  • Coming from the east on SR 26, go through most of the town of Melrose. Just past Riddling Grove on your left, turn right (north) on Dogwood Lane. Go to the end of the median and turn left.
  • Thanks to our friend Wayne Myers’ for sharing an edited version of part of his article “Sharing Roses–When Shouldn’t We?” which gives information on the ethics of rose propagation. Sharing Roses—When Shouldn’t We? By Wayne Myers “Roses are prettiest when shared” is the motto of the Jacksonville Rose Society. As hobby gardeners and rosarians, we all love roses! We share our knowledge, and often we share our roses. When is sharing roses wrong? According to the US Patent Office, it is illegal to propagate patented plant material without express permission from the patent owner! This prohibition includes making rooted cuttings for your own personal use, and to give away! The processes and terminology for patenting, trademarking, and registering newly-invented plants are complex, confusing, and expensive—breeders usually hire patent attorneys or agents. Patent rules may be bewildering for hobby rosarians, but the prohibition against stealing from patent holders is clear! Further, it is legal but unethical to propagate rose varieties less than twenty years after their introduction in those situations where the breeder is so small that he or she has not invested the significant time and money to protect his or her “invention.”

    US plant patent #PP 1 was issued for the rose ‘New Dawn’ on August 18th , 1931. Since then, the US patent system has offered the same property protection rights to the “inventors” of genetically unique plants as they do to inventors of mechanical and scientific advances. These laws were implemented to protect the breeder’s right to recoup the significant investment required to make advancements in plant quality through research and development. Bringing a new variety to the commercial market usually takes at least eight years, but more commonly 10 or more. So how can a hobby rosarian find out whether a rose is patented or not? The only authoritative source is the USPTO (“Patent Office”) database of patents which I find is very difficult to use. However, for practical use, rosarians who wish to propagate roses should first be sure of the plant’s name and status by looking up the name, registration, and patent information in the two large, on-line, rose databases. Basic information for known rose varieties in commerce is available in the American Rose Society’s (ARS) “Modern Roses 12” database: (http://www.allthingsroses.org/modernroses/mr12.htm).

    “Modern Roses 12” is the official, internationally, recognized list of varieties, but is available on line to ARS members only. It sometimes lists patent information. Beyond incomplete patent information, it has other weaknesses including no tolerance for misspellings. Fortunately, the free, on-line, rose database www.HelpMeFind.com/roses offers MUCH more information including alternate names, consistently complete and accurate patent information, a physical description and picture gallery for each rose flower and its plant, the rose’s parentage if known, climate and care recommendations, commercial availability and sources, international awards, and most useful of all--its search function is very tolerant of misspellings. Trademarks and registrations may be confusing, but within the commercial rose world, they are important aspects of breeders’ rights that all rosarians should understand. Wayne Myers This article will continue in our April newsletter with discussion of registration and trademarks.

    Jean Giesel, President

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