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jeff koelewyn introduction

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jeff koelewyn introduction

Post by jeff koelewyn on 2nd September 2010, 08:42

Hello to all the people on this forum...I am a wholesale nurseryman with 40 years experience but little knowledge on roses except the roses in my own garden.
I am actively involved in trying to change the misuse of trademarks and Plant Breeders Rights in the nursery industry. Roses just happen to be some of the most affected plants
I dont expect people on this forum(who just love roses primarily) to use trademarks properly and recognise unprotected plants being passed of as being protected......but this actually reinforces the generic representation of trademarks I have to be very carefull to stick to the facts and not write anything litigious.....there are a lot of people in the industry who would like me to just go away aware that the PBR office and trademark office set the rules but DONT police them
Many of you out there are paying more than you should for certain plants because of misrepresentation .There are many plants out there that you guys could be propagating and swapping or even selling that you are unaware of
Bye for now

jeff koelewyn

Number of posts : 18
Location : tuerong victoria
Registration date : 2010-08-15

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Re: jeff koelewyn introduction

Post by Admin on 2nd September 2010, 17:18

G'Day Jeff,

Welcome aboard. Thanks for your email earlier today. My email address is [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]. Feel free to contact me anytime.

Intellectual property rules and regulations is something a lot of us here are trying to get our heads around because there are quite a few of us who are into breeding roses. Our goals are pretty simply stated (but not so easily achieved); we want to breed better roses for Australia... not the crap we keep getting dished from colder European and American climates. We need roses here that are tough as nails, can stand hot humid weather, are low maintenance, are not chemical junkies, grow well on their own roots, and look good almost all year round.. tall order but I believe it can be done. When you start getting better at it and you start accumulating varieties that are garden worthy then you start to think well... how can we protect the work we have done? I would, and do, share all my breeding stock with everyone here because as a combined force we will get to our goals quicker than we would flying solo and we each have different skills that we share to improve the odds of success, for example David, my right hand man, is a horticulturalist and his knowledge is vast and Bruce is well versed in breeding systems and agricultural processes and I have a degree in genetics and chemistry that covers the nerdy end of things pretty well. This is not the issue. What is the issue is that as egalitarian as we are we also have every right to expect some form of compensation, if you like, for the work we have done without people who have no idea ripping them off and selling them off under our feet. On this I feel we are generally helpless because, as you say, it is not policed and is up to us to find out. Add to this the cost of obtaining a PBR and the little bloke like us might as well give up now. It's not just the initial costs of obtaining a PBR but the ongoing, 20 year committment to paying a substantial annual fee. It adds up to well over $10,000 over 20 years. It's almost as if it is designed by the fat-cats to encourage the big Coles and Woolies-like monopolies because they will be the only ones who can afford it.

The breeder is faced with a number of options... they can do nothing and resign themselves to the fact that they will be exploited by those less scrupulous and be satisified with making a few bucks here and there or not register or release anything and just do it as we always have... as a hobby. The problem with this is, however, the longer you do it the more you realise that we are being bombarded with cookie cutter roses, thinking this is a premium product when in actual fact we could be doing so much better and that by genuine creative thinking, vision, and a lot of bloody hard work, a small handfull of people could completely turn the rose industry here in Australia on its head and improve the quality of the roses available so much that all the secondary prophylactic chemicals that get pushed on us will be unnecessary (I can feel the chain store nurseries quaking in their shoes... whatever will they do if they can't sell us a bottle of fungicide when we buy our roses... pfffffttttt!!!!).

Another option is to develop links with major commercial rose growers so that one can forge individual agreements as new releases become available. If the big boys want to obtain a PBR then they can but the breeder will still obtain a royalty for their roses for the agreed period of time. The nursery may decide they don't want ongoing royalty agreements so they may try to anticipate the volume of sales and pay the breeder a percentage of this for the exclusive rights to name, market, and propagate the variety as they like. They decide whether they want to obtain a PBR or not. The way the PBR structure is set up this is the only way our roses are realistically ever going to be covered by any form of patent unless we mortgage the house to do it. I breed over 1,000 seedlings a year... closer to 2,000 this year and I cull this down to just a handfull but if I got PBRs for all of them I'd be on the street quick smart.

The breeder can become the sole distributor of their roses without any form of IP protection. I favour this path. It's the path Mr Ralph Moore took and it allowed him to maintain his originality to breed as he liked because he was the one selling them... as Kim Rupert said he was walking to the beat of a different drum. Problem is, the way the Australian economy is geared if you don't grow your business you are destinied to failure... why can't people just be satisified with just making enough to suit their own needs... Of course others could, once stock material was obtained, propagate them and sell them as well but his reputation was such that people would prefer to buy from him and it was a matter of propagating enough to meet his business demands. This is how a rose nursery business is formed and I like it a lot. Based on integrity and reputation.

I often think that organisations such as RHA (Rose Hybridisers Association) should form their own collective that promotes and propagates each others creations to generate an income flow for even the small breeders who might only chuck a few seeds in each year but have still managed to produce even one garden worthy variety. I'm not sure how this would work and I haven't got the time to sit down and weigh all the pros and cons up but it just seems like a good idea.

Big rose nurseries like J & P are under the axe in the U.S. because they keep pumping out the same crap year after year and people keep falling for it. If it's a new release it must be good when in actual fact they've just been stirring the same pot of genes for ever and producing slight variations on a theme... but roses are quickly losing favour in modern gardens because they do not, and rightly so, fit the sustainable model being adopted now.

Anyway... it's hard to stop me once I get on my soap box... IP is something we are all looking at more and more closely lately and we welcome any input on it that will help to improve our understanding of it, especially from an industry perspective. I look forward to talking with you more about it.


Number of posts : 3739
Location : Mudgee
Registration date : 2008-02-08

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Re: jeff koelewyn introduction

Post by Ozeboy on 4th September 2010, 06:49

Hi Jeff you are very welcome, will look forward to your comments.

Simon, you have covered our problems very well, stay on the soap box.


Number of posts : 1672
Location : Glenorie, Sydney NSW
Registration date : 2008-12-28

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Re: jeff koelewyn introduction

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