Plant applications are subject to the same examination process as any other national application. As such, the statutory provisions with regard to patentable subject matter, utility, novelty, obviousness, disclosure, and claim specificity requirements apply (35 U.S.C. 101, 102, 103, and 112). The sole exception in terms of applicability of these statutory provisions is set forth in 35 U.S.C. 162.
The prior art considered by the examiner is developed by a search of appropriate subclasses of the United States patent classification system as well as patent and nonpatent literature data bases. Where appropriate, a report may be obtained from the Agricultural Research Service, Horticultural Research Branch, Department of Agriculture. See MPEP § 1609.