Open Releases

It is the land-grant mission of Washington State University (WSU) to serve all people through education, research, and outreach. Part of the mission of WSU’s College of Agriculture, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS) is to help feed a growing world populace. To address this mission, CAHNRS has active plant breeding programs for apple, wheat, cherry, raspberry, barley, pear, turfgrass, oilseeds, and other important crops. We take great pride in developing new elite varieties and delivering them to growers in Washington state, and in other places when appropriate. Typically, WSU files for Plant Variety Protection (PVP) rights, or Plant Patent rights, to protect the new varieties developed by our people in our facilities. From time to time, however, such protection is deemed to be outside WSU’s best interests, and plant varieties are released from WSU breeding programs through an open release process.

Plant variety open releases are evaluated on a case-by-case basis by WSU CAHNRS administrators, as follows. The process begins with a recommendation letter, written to the relevant WSU CAHNRS Department Chair and signed by the WSU plant breeder responsible for developing the new plant variety, describing the plant variety and the circumstances that led to a request for an open release. The Department Chair may share with other department members or relevant committees if appropriate or necessary. The Department Chair signs the recommendation letter, and forwards it to the Associate Dean for Research for CAHNRS (ADR) for final review. If the ADR approves of making an open release under the circumstances as described, the ADR will sign the recommendation letter, formalizing approval of the open release. No open release decision is authorized without the signatures of the Breeder, the Department Chair, and the Associate Dean for Research for CAHNRS.

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Step 1
•WSU Plant Breeder sends a signed letter to Department Chair recommending open release.
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Step 2
•Department Chair reviews recommendation, including appropriate or necessary department Committees or department members.
•If appropriate, Department Chair signs letter and forwards recommendation to Associate Dean.
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Step 3
•Associate Dean for Research for CAHNRS reviews recommendation.
•If appropriate, Associate Dean signs letter to approve open release.

Please contact Jeremy Tamsen with any questions.