The Plant Variety Protection Act (PVPA) offers patent-like protection to the developer of seed reproduced plants. Since the enactment of the PVPA in 1970, the Plant Variety Protection Office has issued 3158 certificates of protection. Of these, 2799 are still in force. Unlike other countries, with similar plant variety protection laws, where the government conducts independent variety trials to establish distinctness, the U.S. system is based on the breeder's obligation to submit the necessary trial data and comparisons to prove that a variety is distinct from all other varieties of public knowledge. The Examiner's responsibility is to verify the claims made by the applicant, to independently verify the distinctness of the applicant's variety and to verify that the applicant has satisfied the requirements for protection as set forth in the PVPA.