NYPL/UMD Plant Patent Project

One of the more surprising elements of plant patents is that their online images are in black and white! Patent and Trademark Resource Centers (PTRC) scattered across the US receive color copies of them but the online community is left guessing what each patented plant looks like in color. A few years ago, Ken Johnson at the PTRC in New York City’s Public Library (NYPL) began scanning the color copies they received. He put them online with the giant caveat that they cannot be used for legal purposes, only the official color copies can be used legally. One of the libraries at the University of Maryland (UMD) is also a PTRC and they have taken up scanning plant patents not scanned by the New York Public Library. So, if you are wondering what a particular plant patent looks like in color, head over to https://www.lib.umd.edu/plantpatents or http://www.nypl.org/collections/nypl-recommendations/guides/plant-patents-2012 Not all of the nearly 33,000 plant patents have been scanned, but they are working on it. Be sure to check out the UMD project’s credits page, I might be mentioned on it. Oh, and if you are curious what the rose plant above looks like, unofficially of course, it’s here.

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