In vegetatively propagated ornamentals, new varieties can be obtained from i.) conventional breeding, and selection or ii.) spontaneous or induced variant types of existing varieties. Indeed, variant types enlarge the assortment to be produced without the need to alter production systems. However, they inherit the breeding effort needed to create a completely new and profitable variety. Therefore, the breeder of the initial variety might want to claim at least part of the profits under the form of a royalty on what is considered as essentially derived varieties (EDV). To detect either EDV or fraud, criteria based on plant morphology are insufficient or even not applicable. Here, some case studies are presented to illustrate the possibilities and the limitations of AFLP fingerprinting in disputes on fraud and essential derivation of ornamental plants, No differences were detected between fingerprints of different azalea bud sports. all belonging to the commercially important ``Hellmut Vogel'' group, In roses, it was possible to elucidate the irregular application for breeders' protection for a bud sport of a registered rose cultivar. This was confirmed by fingerprinting the putative parents given in the application file. In Phalaenopsis, a breeder tried to broaden the protection he received on a variant derived from an old free variety, to a similar clone. After fingerprinting, both parties decided to close the case.