artichoke. This exception is made because this group alone, among asexuallv reproduced plants is propagated by the same part of the plant that is sold as tood.
The Prerequisite of Asexual Reproduction.
It is not only necessary that the new and distinct variety of plant shall have been invented or discovered, but, it is also necessary that it shall have been asexually reproduced prior to the application for patent. A plant patent covers only the exclusive right of asexual reproduction, and obviouslv it would be futile to grant a patent for a new and distinct variety unless the variety had been demonstrated to be susceptible of asexual reproduction. Of course, theoretically under laboratory conditions it is probable that all plants can be asexually reproduced, but it is hardly to be expected that a patent y/ill be applied for unless at the time of application the plant can be asexually reproduced upon a commercial scale or else there is a reasonable expectation that it can be so reproduced in the near future.
Cooperation with Department of Agriculture.
The bill proposes that the President may facilitate the administration of its provisions by the Patent Office through requiring the Secretary of Agriculture, to furmsh the Commissioner of Patents with available inrormation in the department, to conduct necessary research and to detail to the Patent Office technical employees of the department. As to this feature the Secretary of Agriculture states in his letter set forth in Appendix A to this report that — - '
As determination of the newness of varieties could not be made solely upon the basis of descriptive matter and drawings, it is evident that the specimens, descriptions, etc. of existing plants already available in various torms in the Department of Agriculture and elsewhere, will be of great and^da'ta"63 m time by extension of such collections of plants
i he effective administration of such legislation would require expert personnel, comparable in their lines, with the specialists now employed by the Patent Office. The technical personnel of the Department of Aericulture although possibly inadequate to meet future demands, would be available in making such determinations as would be necessary in carrving out the purposes of such a law.
Application to Existing Plants.
In accordance with existing patent law, the bill would not permit the patentmg of plants that have been in public use, either before or after the approval or the bill for more than two years. Furthermore, it was considered unnecessary to provide specifically that the bill shall permit the patentine of plants now m process of creation, under observation, under test or in existence but not yet given to the public as that appears to the committee tó be covered adequately by the existing provisions of section 4886 of the Keyised Statutes. With reference to plants, the words "public use" in that section would apply to the period during which the new variety is asexually reproduced for sale.
IV. Legal Phases of the bill.
The committee is of the opinion after careful consideration that the amendments to the patent laws proposed by the bill fall within the le^islative power of Congress under Article I, section 8, of the Constitution —