Commercialization and Licensing - Apples

It takes a lot of planning and energy to produce the highest quality, best tasting apples. You also need apples that bring the highest financial returns from wholesalers, retailers, and consumers throughout the season. We believe apples developed by the University of Minnesota can help improve your production and sales.

Unique apple trees developed by the U of M are protected. Propagation of these trees without a license is prohibited, even if you want to propagate or topwork only one tree.

Licensed Through the U of M

Honeycrisp Apple.

Honeycrisp (aka Honeycrunch®) Apple Tree

Honeycrisp Apple Trees are no longer under patent protection in the U.S. Protected in Canada and several other countries, this variety is popular as the Honeycrunch® Apple outside North America. Honeycrisp or Honeycrunch®, this explosively crisp and juicy apple commands a premium price.

Visit the Office of Technology Commercialization for more information on licensing Honeycrisp or Honeycrunch®.

Zestar!®, SnowSweet® and SweeTango® (Minneiska variety) apple trees are protected by United States Plant Patents or Plant Variety Rights in other countries. Nurseries must be licensed to propagate and sell these protected varieties.

SweeTango apple.

SweeTango® Apple

The SweeTango® apple, Minneiska variety (US Plant Patent 18,812) is protected under the US Plant Patent Act and by Plant Breeders Rights in other countries. SweeTango® has been exclusively licensed by the University of Minnesota. More information on availability and licensing can be found on the SweeTango® website or by contacting the Office of Technology Commercialization.

Zestar! apple.

Zestar® Apple Tree

The Zestar!® apple is a uniquely crunchy early season apple. It has a sprightly sweet-tart taste with a hint of brown sugar. Start up your cash flow with sales earlier in the summer.

Obtain an express license for Zestar!® from OTC.

Zestar!® tech i.d. #97120

SnowSweet apple.

SnowSweet® Apple Tree

The SnowSweet® apple is a late season variety that has a delightful sweet taste, with a slight tart balance and rich overtones. Consumers love it not only for the flavor, but also because it is slow to oxidize after cutting. An asset for preparing appetizing dishes in advance. SnowSweet® can help extend your sales season.

Obtain an express license for SnowSweet® from OTC.

SnowSweet® tech i.d. #Z03140

Supported Through the MNRC

Frostbite, State Fair, Keepsake and Sweet Sixteen apples.

Frostbite™, Keepsake, Sweet 16, and State Fair Apple Trees

Frostbite™, Keepsake, Sweet 16 and State Fair apple trees are available at many nurseries and supported by Minnesota Nursery Research Corporation (MNRC) participants.

Please order from MNRC nurseries to help support future apple research.

OTC Licensing Contact

If you want to become licensed, the U of M Office for Technology Commercialization (OTC) would be pleased to help you. OTC's site offers additional plant variety information and you can submit Licensing And Technical Questions.

For additional licensing information, please contact:

BJ Haun
Technology Licensing Officer
Office for Technology Commercialization
University of Minnesota
Phone: 612-626-8495
Fax: 612-624-6554

Thank you for your interest in U of M varieties.

Support U Research

Several apple varieties developed by the U of M are supported by MNRC participants. Please place orders with these nurseries and help enhance future apple discoveries.

Apples tree varieties supported by MNRC include: Frostbite™, Keepsake, Sweet 16, and State Fair Apple Trees.

If you propagate U of M varieties, please learn about supporting MNRC by email at