DEVISING A PLANT LABELLING SYSTEM THAT SATISFIES EVERYONE!
The most direct contact between the general public and plant names is through display labels on plants in retail nurseries. This is where most people first confront botanical names, the use of Latin, and the system of botanical nomenclature. Over the last decade plant marketing has entailed a shift from botanical and common names on labels to legally protected names (generally trade denominations). The numbers of legally protected names is increasing steadily and further kinds of legal protection of intellectual property can be expected in the future. Labels now carry a plethora of names of uncertain botanical and legal status that are as confusing to industry employees as they are to the general public. A plant label in a nursery must now satisfy many people including: the consumer; the retailer; botanists; the Plant Breeders Rights Office; and patent attorneys. It is clearly in the general interest to ensure that litigation is reduced to a minimum. One major way to assist all parties would be to clearly identify, on plant labels, the legal and scientific status of the names that are being used. A proposal to the nursery industry of Australia suggests a solution to this difficulty by using a standardised format for printing the different kinds of names. The proposal for the Australian nursery industry outlined here could be adapted for use in other countries.
Spencer, R. and Cross, R. (2004). DEVISING A PLANT LABELLING SYSTEM THAT SATISFIES EVERYONE!. Acta Hortic. 634, 221-225
labels, trademarks, commercial synonyms, legal protection