What's in a name?

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What's in a name?

#1

Post by Agavemonger »

Rancho Tissue Technologies developed 15 different un-named Kelly Griffin hybrids as tissue cultured plants, which they sold more-or-less exclusively to Euro-American Propagators.

Euro-American named them with the "Retro Gang" (AKA "Italian Gang" or "Gangster") names (Jimmy, Rocco, Rico, Tony, Donnie, Vinnie, etc.) and then put them up for sale under these names in their "Proven Winners" line of plants that they distributed to wholesalers and retailers.

Later, Rancho Tissue Technologies re-named the plants (I believe that Kelly Griffin re-named, or had something to do with re-naming, all of them) so that Rancho Tissue Technologies could sell them with out conflicting with Euro-American's "proprietary" names (perhaps a trademark or patent issue with Euro's names, or perhaps it had something to do with sales contract negotiations). Anyway, all 15 of the plants got renamed by Rancho Tissue Technologies and sold under their names.

So there are two names for each of the 15 plants. Naturally, more confusion ensued, which was typical for many of the "named" hybrids or species "selections" coming out of Rancho Tissue Technologies and Rancho Soledad Nursery. (Euro American's names on many other plants from Rancho Soledad confuse the issue even further, and are even more ridiculous!) :? They both have never seemed too bothered by their tendency to play fast-and-loose with their own "proprietary" names and descriptions of the plants they sell. For instance, the recent dust-up about the name switcheroo between Agave X 'Blue Ember' and Agave X 'Blue Emperor'. This tendency goes back many years, with names such as the ubiquitous "Species Nova" apendages attached to many plants, or even more inappropriate names such as Agave 'Celsii Nova' (which leads one to believe that the plant is a "newly discovered species" rather than an oddball hybrid that seems to not have a whole lot to do with Agave celsii (mitis).

Generally, I use Kelly Griffin's names for the plants, in deference to the hybridizer who originally developed the hybrids, even though they were initially "named" by Euro-American.

For what it is worth, here are the 15 Aloe hybrids in question along with their two names. The first name is Kelly Griffin's, followed by The Euro-American "Retro-Gang" name


1) 'Bright Star' ---- 'Donnie'
2) 'Coral Edge' ---- 'Rocco'
3) 'Fang' ---- 'Marco'
4) 'Green Sand' ----- 'Vito'
5) 'Kelly Blue' ---- 'Vinnie'
6) 'Latte' ---- 'Angelo'
7) 'Lavender' ---- 'Carmine'
8) 'Lime Fizz' ---- 'Franco'
9) 'Little Gator' ---- 'Jimmy'
10) 'Orange Marmalade' ---- 'Red' (Some people, including R.T.T., are calling this just 'Marmelade' (sp.); they are all the same plant! ::roll:: )
11) 'Pearl Necklace' ---- 'Sal'
12) 'Rich' ---- 'Rico'
13) 'Silver Star' ---- 'Guido'
14) 'Tony' ---- 'Tony' (Never named by Kelly, as this plant was not in tissue culture production for several years)
15) 'White Lightning' ---- 'Diego' (Note: Spelled Lightning, not Lightening(sp.) as usually seen) (It is a thunderbolt, not the increasing light at dawn. :lol: )

Hope this helps---

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Re: Could central and norcal have a record mild lows winter?

#2

Post by Spination »

"Hope this helps" ??

Wow, sure does, and I have never seen anywhere else such a comprehensive and detailed explanation. True, I kind of figured the very basic situation and had a general sense of it, but now the skeleton of my understanding has been filled in greatly. That's a wealth of information there, Thank you very much!

Especially cool is your listing of the 2 named Aloes. Some I knew, others not.

Again, thanks for sharing your knowledge! :U
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Re: Could central and norcal have a record mild lows winter?

#3

Post by Agavemonger »

There was a lot more discussion pertaining to these plants (and other Kelly Griffin Hybrids) on that other site several years back, I believe, as well as a lot of controversy surrounding all of that.

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Re: Could central and norcal have a record mild lows winter?

#4

Post by Gee.S »

Can someone explain to me how or why the name Aloe 'Bright Star' is any more helpful or legitimate than Keith attaching Agave 'Emerald Envy' to an Agave hybrid of unknown origin? Does one name get you closer to the truth than the other? In the case of the Agave, several of us found the same plants independently of each other at BB, and it does speed conversation along, since we all know which Agave we're talking about, but far as I can tell, these cute names are nothing more than a merchandising tool -- unless there is a clear lineage record attached to them, as there is with A. ×'Burnt Burgundy', for example.
Agave
"American aloe plant," 1797, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at".

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Re: Could central and norcal have a record mild lows winter?

#5

Post by Agavemonger »

Gee.S wrote:Can someone explain to me how or why the name Aloe 'Bright Star' is any more helpful or legitimate than Keith attaching Agave 'Emerald Envy' to an Agave hybrid of unknown origin?
Actually, it isn't, at least in this situation.

Keith coined a very good moniker for an unknown hybrid, which astutely reflects the plant's coloration and it's desirability among collectors. He was the first to recognize, name, and blog lengthily about the plant; hence the name quickly became generally accepted and the plant was enviously desired by collectors. The name was a good one that was the first to be published. Thus it is completely legitimate and the name has certainly stuck. D))

The plant is clearly recognizable as being something "different", it is easily propagated (and thus replicated) by division, and the plant is quite easy to grow. So I can see it being around by this name for long into the forseeable future. :8:

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Re: Could central and norcal have a record mild lows winter?

#6

Post by Gee.S »

^It's all true!
Agave
"American aloe plant," 1797, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at".

"Some talk the talk, others walk the walk, but I stalk the stalk"
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Re: Could central and norcal have a record mild lows winter?

#7

Post by Azuleja »

Thank you, Agavemonger, for sharing the background behind those 15 names and a key for identifying the hybrid pairs. That was really very kind of you.

When it comes to names, some of my favorites are species names that denote location like A. isthmensis, A. x arizonica, A. gigantensis etc. And then there are the "discoverer" names, which seem grandiose and rarely if ever say anything about the plant. But for ridiculousness in a species name, does anything really top A. jaiboli? http://www.agaveville.org/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=1130
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Re: Could central and norcal have a record mild lows winter?

#8

Post by Viegener »

Yes, fascinating info & very useful to prevent us from buying aloes we already have. And I agree on the species named for explorers, which signals somehow that a plant did not exist until someone from the West "discovered" it. I like using place names & also the indigenous common names, as well as descriptors like aurea, alba or hirsuta. Agave jaiboli is sort of great though - it's not just a misunderstanding, but a drunken misunderstanding. Then there's just the foolishness of Aloe barberae vs Aloe bainseii, etc., an example in which getting it "right" just causes needless confusion. Or at the very least, limit the plants named after explorers to just one. There's E. H. Wilson who has 60 species named after him. Or all the species just named for friends & benefactors.
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Re: Could central and norcal have a record mild lows winter?

#9

Post by Spination »

Azuleja wrote:. But for ridiculousness in a species name, does anything really top A. jaiboli?
Absolutely. That's got to be my favorite Agave naming story. Every time it comes to mind, it makes me smile. "jaiboli con mescal?" Highball with mescal? Priceless. D))
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Could central and norcal have a record mild lows winter?

#10

Post by Agavemonger »

I enjoy the extensive variety found in species names; it is endless fun to research the reasoning behind their monikers, and I always seem to learn something new. The story behind Agave jaiboli is a classic; it just goes to show what a great guy that Gentry was. Even when a slight misunderstanding in diction and accent led him to a somewhat bizarre naming of a new species, he was able to make light of it, and a truly great story was born! ::wink:: It is a name not easily forgotten once you have read the story. D))

Even more fun can be the names of hybrids that people can come up with.

For instance, Agave X 'Emerald Envy' (discussed above) is a great name for a hybrid Agave. It is both easily remembered and rolls quite well off the tongue. Collectors that have been around for a couple of years have been able to partake in both the discovery of the hybrid, and the origin of it's name, all neatly documented here through quite a bit of interesting blogging about the plant. You can be assured of always remembering these stories, because the plant has a great name.

Some notes for hybridizers:

Quite often I will come up with a great name, only to forget it just as quickly as it came to mind! :huh: Sometimes it will come back to me later, but usually it is gone for good! So I have gotten to where I try to keep a clipboard near me as much as possible, especially when I am doing mundane things like spending hours at a time dividing and transplanting stock. When a name comes to me, I try to stop what I am doing and write it down right then and there, before I have a chance to forget it. Sometimes one thought will lead to a litany of others, so when the literary mood hits and the names pour forth from the botanical horn-of-plenty, I just get 'em all down on a pad. Later, I will consolidate them alphabetically onto a Word Program File I maintain just for that purpose. Then, when I have a new hybrid that needs a name I can just open the file and there are several hundred names to pick from, or at least inspire me to invent another one. However, It is always best to wait a while before publishing a name on a plant; sometimes that name (which seemed so brilliant when you first thought it up) later seems either crass, dull, juvenile, or otherwise inappropriate. Invariably, if you are patient, the right moniker for the plant will eventually present itself. ::wink::

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Re: Could central and norcal have a record mild lows winter?

#11

Post by Agavemonger »

Gee.S wrote: but far as I can tell, these cute names are nothing more than a merchandising tool -- unless there is a clear lineage record attached to them, as there is with A. ×'Burnt Burgandy', for example.
(An Initial Qualifier Here: We are talking about HYBRIDS, not SPECIES. Naming species is an entirely different ball game, with distinct methodology and explicit scientific parameters, and subject to extensive critical review by ones scientific peers.)

After spending years trying to notate the increasingly complex lineage behind hybrids, I have generally thrown in the towel and given up on that. In most cases, it really doesn't matter much anyway.

In many cases, the hybridizer doesn't follow through on careful scientific methods, leaving the pollinated plant's flowers to be revisited by unintentional pollinating processes such as wind gusts, visits from ants and other insects, bats, moths, or hummingbirds, or even climbing critters looking for a bite to eat (such as mice and squirrels).

When it comes right down to it, a new plant is a new plant is a new plant---

I also try and remember the words of Kelly Griffin; that a new hybrid that is not distinctly different from others of its kind is probably better relegated to the trash bin than propagated and given a new name.

Ron touched on an important point in the quoted quip above: (that names are nothing more than a merchandising tool). That is almost EXACTLY all that they are, and all that they ever will be. They are important as an identifying moniker so that the plant material can be recognized, exchanged, and discussed.

That is one reason why Kelly Griffin's plants are so rightfully well known. He throws out the trash hybrids, and names and propagates only the best; generally he picks fairly unique and pretty cool names for some pretty cool plants. :U

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Re: Could central and norcal have a record mild lows winter?

#12

Post by mcvansoest »

That is all very cool if it did not go a little much further along the path of 'merchandising': I have bought several plants over the last few years (some of those miniature Aloes among them) which have been copyrighted - ie. officially you are not allowed to propagate them at all. I guess from a business stand point I understand it as it is probably aimed at other large scale nurseries and tissue culture operations, but every other instinct I have finds this utterly ridiculous, because officially it means I cannot even remove offsets from the plants and give those to a neighbor... let alone think about putting one on eBay...
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Re: Could central and norcal have a record mild lows winter?

#13

Post by Gee.S »

Agave
"American aloe plant," 1797, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at".

"Some talk the talk, others walk the walk, but I stalk the stalk"
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Re: Could central and norcal have a record mild lows winter?

#14

Post by Spination »

mcvansoest wrote:That is all very cool if it did not go a little much further along the path of 'merchandising': I have bought several plants over the last few years (some of those miniature Aloes among them) which have been copyrighted - ie. officially you are not allowed to propagate them at all. I guess from a business stand point I understand it as it is probably aimed at other large scale nurseries and tissue culture operations, but every other instinct I have finds this utterly ridiculous, because officially it means I cannot even remove offsets from the plants and give those to a neighbor... let alone think about putting one on eBay...
I would have to agree. On the surface, such restrictive legality just doesn't seem entirely logical, or feasible (enforcement?). I think "utterly ridiculous" is an apt instinct/view/feeling in response. I mean, you buy an Aloe - that plant now belongs to you, and you can't "even remove offsets from the plants and give those to a neighbor... let alone think about putting one on eBay"? The plant you bought, produces offsets, which are also now yours, and you can't do as you please with them?

I wasn't sure exactly what was legally what regarding this, so just to get some personal clarity on the exact issue, I googled and read some stuff. I thought this was most pertinent:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plant_breeders'_rights" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; PBR, PVR

Two points I get out of this definition are:
" are rights granted to the breeder of a new variety of plant that give the breeder exclusive control over the propagating material (including seed, cuttings, divisions, tissue culture) and harvested material (cut flowers, fruit, foliage) of a new variety for a number of years."
First thing I notice here is "new variety". Sorry, a hybrid is NOT a variety. Huh? Am I out of my mind? Really?

Now consider this point from the article:
"In order to qualify for these exclusive rights, a variety must be new, distinct, uniform and stable." Additionally, look at point #4 regarding the definition of "stable":
"stable if the plant characteristics are genetically fixed and therefore remain the same from generation to generation, or after a cycle of reproduction in the case of hybrid varieties."

Aloe hybrids would not meet this criteria, so therefor, no legal rights could be granted, so therefor one would not be in violation of breeder's rights by propagating them for fun or profit.

Here's my point. Take any named hybrid, in fact, take several of the same one. Let them flower, cross pollinate them, sow the seeds, grow the seedlings. In order to fit the definition whereby a grower/breeder would be able to obtain legal rights in the first place, an insurmountable hurdle in this situation, for all intents and purposes, which I will call nature, and the laws of genetics, has to be overcome. By definition, or I could say the difference between a hybrid and an actual variety of a true species, is that hybrids can not breed true. No way, no how. That's not how it works. When you mix genetics from two different things, or more accurately in the case of most super interesting Aloe hybrids, mix genetics from several different things, you obtain in terms of phenotype a blend of genetics from the many parents/ancestors, which essentially is the product of the battle of dominant vs recessive genes among the entire host of seen (and not seen) characteristics. In the phenotype, you only see what dominated between a various plethora of characteristics. When those hybrids are bred back together, they will not breed true. You get a remixing of the genes in their ancestry. In effect, dominant and recessive genes match up differently, the dice of genetic traits are rolled again - the proverbial crapshoot, and in terms of the progeny: some will perhaps look more like one genetic donor in it's background, some perhaps will look more like another genetic donor in it's background, some may look like something in between, some may look yet different again. What you can predict, is that they will NOT look like each other. Therefor, the "stable" requirement to obtain a PBR/PVR can not be met, therefor you can do whatever you please with said plants. You can propagate them until kingdom come, take cuttings galore, sell them, give them away, and you are within your rights as the owner of YOUR plants.

Yes, a stable hybrid can eventually be achieved. If one had the lifespan, time, resources to breed the progeny over generations and generations back together, an eventually stable result could be obtained. Problem is, that result may not at all be what you were hoping for. It may not at all compare favorably to a particular, selected offspring from a crossing, which could then be TC'd, and distributed en masse.

Essentially, how a species comes to be in the first place is generation upon generations of inbreeding, whereby it breeds true. A variety of a species is not complex in the way a hybrid is, because usually we're talking about a single mutation...and if that mutation then breeds true, it is eligible to obtain the rights:
"Typically, plant variety rights are granted by national offices, after examination. Seed is submitted to the plant variety office, who grow it for one or more seasons, to check that it is distinct, stable, and uniform. If these tests are passed, exclusive rights are granted for a specified period (typically 20/25 years (or 25/30 years, for trees and vines). Annual renewal fees are required to maintain the rights."
That's not going to happen in the case of any of those appealing Aloe hybrids we're considering here.

So, what if instead we're talking about a TRADEMARK, rather than a PBR, or PVR?
http://extension.oregonstate.edu/garden ... rademarked" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

"A trademark on a plant protects only the plant’s name, not the plant cultivar itself, as with a patent. Another person could propagate a trademarked plant, but not call it the same variety name."

"Unlike a patented plant, if you buy a trademarked plant, you can propagate it asexually by taking cuttings. You can even sell the propagated plants for profit, but you can’t call those plants by the trademarked name or acquire your own trademark for those same plants. You can, however, use the plant’s cultivar name if it has one (shown in single quotes) – assuming that it isn’t also patented."

So, as it turns out, our instincts that it is utterly ridiculous turn out to be justified. It is ridiculous because it's not even true. The only reason I can imagine beyond ignorance or misunderstanding of the actual patent and trademark laws whereby such fallacy is spread around basically falls under the heading of myth/propaganda, or misrepresentation, in order to scare folks from competing with the original creators of the hybrids. As far as it goes, a person distributing a propagate from such a hybrid is penny-ante, small time. It's hardly much competition. How many offsets can a plant produce in a year? How long do you have to grow it before it produces any offsets? How long do you have to grow the offset to a size that is marketable? In that time, a big-time producer of plants has TC'd thousands of their selected hybrid, and put them into the marketplace. So, what exactly and really is the competition?

Just to be clear, I'm not talking anyway about what is fair, moral, or "right" per se, or what one person thinks about such compared to another. I'm talking about what is actual law, and actual definition of patents and trademarks applied to plants.

By the way, have you ever purchased an Aloe hybrid, even from the originator, that came with a label that read: “Asexual reproduction of this plant is prohibited.”? Because if that plant was indeed patented, I would be willing to guarantee that plant would come with just such a label. I've never seen one, never heard of one on any Aloe hybrids. The reason? There aren't any, because they aren't patented. They aren't patented because they don't qualify under the rules. No patent, no rights, no restrictions to propagate and dispose of them as one pleases.
"To determine if a plant is patented, look for a patent number on the tag, or PPAF (plant patent applied for) or PVR (plant variety rights) after the name of the cultivar. Or sometimes there are other indicators that a patent has been applied for, such as “patent pending.”

By the way, even in the case of a patent:
"Though asexual reproduction may be prohibited on a patented cultivar, there is no regulation against using the plant in sexual reproduction. In other words, the seed or pollen from a patented variety may be used without permission of the patent holder. The offspring are free of patent regulations."
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Re: Could central and norcal have a record mild lows winter?

#15

Post by mcvansoest »

Spination, thanks for all the research. I figured that propagation by seed was OK given that it would likely not come true and you would not be able to use the same name, but obviously offsets are genetically identical and for many of these plants probably the obvious way to make more as it is hard to get these plants to set seed in the first place (I got some pods on Aloe 'Pink Blush' that is likely a cross with Aloe 'Delta Lights'. Anyway I got the name of the Aloe hybrid wrong with the unauthorized propagation prohibition. Aloe 'Pickled Pink' iso 'Pink Blush', see last line of the label on the pot:
DSCF5528.jpg
DSCF5528.jpg (54.27 KiB) Viewed 5759 times
And here is another one: Aloe 'Blizzard':
DSCF4720.jpg
DSCF4720.jpg (50.72 KiB) Viewed 5759 times
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Re: Could central and norcal have a record mild lows winter?

#16

Post by Agavemonger »

BAH, HUMBUG!

Wow! We have really strayed away from the original intent of this thread! ::roll:: GeeS, perhaps you could divide this one up and consolidate it with other threads or partial threads dealing with plant patents, etc.

My feeling has always been mixed on these issues. If I have a truly new plant, I try to develop a lot of them before I release them, knowing that the price will be at a premium at first, followed by an inexorable drop in price as the plant gets out there and gets propagated by others. Aloe hybrids are generally so prolific and easy to grow that it generally doesn't take very long to amass a plethora of them, at which point they are basically just another run-of-the-mill succulent as far as pricing is concerned. Then it is on to the next new hybrid. Trying to "control the market" of Aloe hybrids (and many other plants, for that matter) has always seemed like folly and excessive greed to me. The market share is just too small to justify the time and expense involved. Plus, I never associated growing aesthetic plants with patent attorneys and court appearances. :? Better to just ride out the success of a new hybrid for a year or two, then on to the next "latest thing."

And really!? 'Pickled Pink' and 'Blizzard' ?! Huge fortunes to be made at 79 cents apiece, Ebeneezer, on these total dogs . :huh: :U:

I certainly don't think that the typical Bob Cratchet backyard grower starting up an E-bay sales "empire" has a whole lot to worry about. Do we dare fear Scrooge, ensconced over his adding machine deep in the bowels at his "Big Grower" nursery, fretting away over profit margins late into Christmas Eve? Most of the plants that "big growers" claim to have patented were released to the public long before they got hold of them and assigned their own proprietary names to the hybrids of others. Surprisingly, a lot of the time the so-called "registered names" or "patented plant" assignations are fake anyway.

In reality, the 15 Kelly Griffin Aloe hybrids discussed above could simply be sold under the Kelly Griffin assigned names rather than the gangster names, and there would be nothing that could be ascertained as far as "legal ownership" is concerned. Yucca 'Bright Star' is another classic example. It came out under the name 'Walbristar' (apparently German for Bright Star) long before it was ever registered or patented as 'Bright Star'. A few years go by and the plant is all of a sudden no longer available from tissue culture. So can a grower re-use the name 'Bright Star', especially if there is no longer anyone to contest it? :red:

Better yet, just stay away from patented names altogether. Yucca 'Bright Star' could just as easily be called Yucca recurvifolia variegata, I suppose.

In the spirit of Christmas, and along with an interest in expediency and efficiency, I would cajole the big growers to give up on their attempts at controlling things; You never know when the Three Ghosts of Christmas might pay you a visit. Better to emulate Tiny Tim and revel in the beauty of the plants and the spirit and wonders of the seasonal "growth" than to feed the coffers of the Bob Marleys of this world.

and God bless us everyone... ::wink::

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Re: What's in a name?

#17

Post by Gee.S »

Split. Also, I left a shadow topic in the Aloe Talk section, since the discussion is essentially Aloecentric. Thus the thread appears to be part of both Aloaceae Talk and Off Topic.
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"American aloe plant," 1797, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at".

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Re: Could central and norcal have a record mild lows winter?

#18

Post by Gee.S »

Agavemonger wrote:BAH, HUMBUG!


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When I was earning coin as a freelance software developer I got a few cease and desists letters from big companies regarding the names of my commercial products. As an example, I developed an unusual little backup utility named "Safety Net". I then offered a more robust version of the package called "Safety Net Pro". Many months after its release, I received a cease and desist letter from a company called NETPRO, claiming copyright infringement, not on my proprietary software, but its name. I called, and spoke to someone in their legal department, essentially telling them to pound sand. I never heard from them again. I now see that Quest bought NETPRO for $78.7 million eight years ago, so they may have had bigger fish to fry. This was just one of a few separate instances. It's just corporate bullying.
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"American aloe plant," 1797, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at".

"Some talk the talk, others walk the walk, but I stalk the stalk"
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Re: What's in a name?

#19

Post by Agavemonger »

Blizzard, Blizzard, Bo-Blizzard...
Banana-Fanna Foe Flizzard....
Fee-Fie-Foe Flizzard....

GIZZARD

The Name Game....
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Re: What's in a name?

#20

Post by Spination »

So, I see those labels, and having read and shared that info earlier, I don't believe they actually have any patents on those plants. They're hybrids. The seed will not produce stable copies of the parents. So, there's just no way that the criteria regarding being stable could be met. In any case, there's nothing though that would stop them from just saying "unauthorized propagation prohibited", as a scare-tactic. That might have some effect, and it might even be a smart tactic at that as an aid trying to protect their interests. By the way, notice the label does NOT actually say "patented", or even "trademarked" for that matter (that I can see there anyway). Why not? My guess is that because they are not patented. Saying propagation prohibited does not mean it's actually true from a legal standpoint, or that they have any legal recourse if anyone does. That's aside from the stupidity and feasibility of bothering with such a futile and fruitless endeavor in any event.

Here's a label from Huntington Botanical, one of KZ's hybrids. Huntington is a very professional and honorable entity, that goes by the book from A-Z.
2016 08 28 Aloe Wiley Coyotee pair a.jpg
2016 08 28 Aloe Wiley Coyotee pair a.jpg (108.38 KiB) Viewed 5737 times
No mention whatsoever of propagation prohibited, or trademark, or patent. If any of those apply, I would expect to see it right there on the label.

Monger, I totally agree with your very well written sentiment on the subject. Great points, well said. Being XMas time, I also appreciate the Cratchet and Scrooge references. :))
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Re: What's in a name?

#21

Post by Viegener »

Yes, none of Karen Zimmerman's hybrids are patented. Apparently none of Kelly Griffins' are either. So you see them sold by a great variety of sellers. One of the problems I've had in acquiring Leo Thamm's aloes is that they are patented and almost no one can grow them or sell them, and it seems like the one lame company that has the rights is just twiddling its thumbs.

Just did a little research. You can grow the seeds of any patented plant under the "breeders' exemption," which was designed to allow further hybridization. Also if a patented plant mutates (develops variegation, for example), you can propagate it legally, and even patent it yourself. Sports & mutations are exempt.

I dislike reading the "Propagation prohibited" label as well (though I do not see how this can be enforced unless you try to publicly sell those propagates). But on the other hand, I also see the patent being similar to a copyright. We believe it's right that the composer or a performer of a song gets a royalty each time it is covered or even played on the radio. So what's different about an original plant variety?

Probably the better rule would be that commercial propagation should be prohibited, but personal propagation should be allowable.
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Re: Could central and norcal have a record mild lows winter?

#22

Post by Spination »

Gee.S wrote:Bowman v. Monsanto
That's interesting. I've actually read that before. Personally, I wouldn't be caught dead growing GMO food. I wouldn't eat it (not knowingly!), so why would I grow it? !!!

Aside from that, here we're talking about big money. Strike that - HUGE money. Research, development, investment. And, a product that is genetically engineered, and most certainly qualifies as a candidate for patenting. Also, there was full disclosure whereby:
"soybeans were grown to farmers under a limited use license that prohibited the farmer-buyer from using the seeds for more than a single season or from saving any seed produced from the crop for replanting"
The farmer/buyer purchased the seeds knowing exactly what the rules were beforehand.
A. patent
B. contract - seeds were sold with the provision of the limited use restriction.

Clear cut. Whether one agrees with the idea or not, it is what it is, and people are buying with eyes wide open. No cause for complaint in my opinion. Also, in regards to battling a huge corporation with deep pockets and the will to defend their product - the little guy is never going to win that battle (nor am I saying they should). ::wink::

Completely different situation as with the Aloe hybrids.
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Re: What's in a name?

#23

Post by Spination »

Viegener, yes, the Thamm creations are patented, without looking it up, just remembering what I read. Also, if I am remembering accurately, it's also because we are dealing with a different country - South Africa, and different laws that give breeders/growers more protection for their creations than are afforded here.

The laws here as I just investigated this morning provide a set of conditions to meet, the 4th regarding "stable", which these U.S. made Aloe hybrids can't meet.

Hence, what I'm saying, is that I do not believe that label's statement regarding "propagation prohibited", in the specific case of these miniature hybrid Aloe creations. I mean, I believe that's what it says - my eyes are still working well enough... I just don't believe it's valid or enforceable in terms of my current understanding of what exactly it takes to obtain a patent. I don't believe they will issue a patent if they can't grow those seeds and come up exactly with what is being patented.

Also, as far as a trademark - that only protects a name, not the plant.

Otherwise, your comments are entirely reasonable and I don't disagree either.
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Re: What's in a name?

#24

Post by Gee.S »

Well, these megacorp developers represent the backbone of the law we're discussing here, so it's very relevant. And it isn't nearly as clear cut as it may seem.

David vs. Monsanto
It all began in 1998, at which time Schmeiser had grown canola on his farm for 40 years. Like any other traditional farmer, he used his own seeds, saved from the previous harvest.

But, like hundreds of other North American farmers, Schmeiser ended up being sued by Monsanto for 'patent infringement' when more than 320 hectares were found to be contaminated with Roundup Ready canola—the biotech giant's patented canola, genetically engineered to tolerate otherwise lethal doses of glyphosate.
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Agave
"American aloe plant," 1797, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at".

"Some talk the talk, others walk the walk, but I stalk the stalk"
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Re: What's in a name?

#25

Post by Spination »

To me, Schmeiser is a hero. And to my simple, straight-line thinking, totally in the right. He did not buy the Monsanto seeds, nor did he have anything to do with the contamination of Monsanto pollen on his own crops of NOT genetically engineered. He didn't want it, and didn't ask for it. Blame the wind. Monsanto and their money and lawyers bullied folks who clearly decided it was cheaper to pay than to fight. Hooray for him fighting back, and beating them. David, and Justice both won that round.

EDIT -
I would say as well looking at it from a viewpoint of growing a pure, organic product, that Schmeiser is the victim of having his product contaminated, and should be eligible for damages compensation. I think if you develop a product that is going to naturally interact with neighbor's crops and cause harm to it's inherent organic quality, then you should be liable for that harm caused.
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