Washington, D.C.--The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that the Plant Variety Protection Office (PVPO) will start accepting applications for seed-propagated hemp for plant variety protection.

The PVPO gives intellectual property protection to breeders of new varieties of seeds and tubers, USDA explained. Through implementation of The Plant Variety Protection Act, the PVPO examine new applications and grant certificates that protect varieties for 20 years, and for 25 years for trees and vines.

According to the announcement, the certificate owners have the right to exclude others from marketing or selling their varieties, legal protection of their work and the ability to manage the use of their varieties by other breeders.

Applicants are able to submit applications through the electronic application filing system and choosing hemp in the Crop Kind Dropdown box. All new users must get authenticated prior to use of the system. Go here to apply for authentication.