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Sink your Teeth into the “Cosmic Crisp” Patent

Photo by an_vision on Unsplash

The most hyped apple release of 2019 may have nothing to do with electronic devices. The “Cosmic Crisp” is the new kid on the block that is born from crossing the ‘Honeycrisp’ apple with the ‘Enterprise’ apple. The new variety is being released this December, 2019 (so now). The name Cosmic Crisp has two parts, ‘crisp’ is a nod to the Honeycrisp, while ‘Cosmic’ comes from the apple’s specks that resemble stars in the sky.

Washington State University developed this apple over the last two decades and reportedly spent over $10 Million on marketing alone. If this apple is a hit, WSU stands to make revenue through licensing the IP rights (patent and trademark) of the Cosmic Crisp.

To date, WSU holds numerous trademarks of “Cosmic Crisp” in different categories (fruits, trees, juices), as well as a plant patent – USPP24210P3. Under United States Code section 161, “Whoever invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant… may obtain a patent therefor”. Having a plant patent “protects the patent owner’s right to exclude others from asexually reproducing the plant, and from using, offering for sale, or selling the plant so reproduced, or any of its parts”. See the USPTO website for more.

Curious how a Cosmic Crisp tastes? The patent, which refers to the Cosmic Crisp apple tree as ‘WA 38’, provides a few hints:

Additionally, the combination of fruit appearance and internal eating qualities of the fruit of ‘WA 38’ is distinctly different than that of the parental varieties ‘Honeycrisp’ and ‘Enterprise’.

Skin.—Texture is considered tender; thickness is considered thin; appearance is considered more streaked than marbled with scant bloom present

Flesh.—Crisp, melting, juicy, sub-acid with mild apple like flavor…

Aroma.—Apple like and moderate in intensity.

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