[NAFEX] Sunworld patents

Hal Love lovehd at comcast.net
Mon Apr 28 11:34:49 EDT 2008

Scott, I'm no legal expert, but since they claim ownership of the plants, I would assume they could accuse someone of being in possession of stolen property at any time, even if the variety was never patented. However, there could be a statute of limitations in some places that could come into play. I suspect that due to the high costs of enforcement, they would only go after a big commercial grower.


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Scott Smith 
  To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org 
  Sent: Monday, April 28, 2008 8:14 AM
  Subject: [NAFEX] Sunworld patents

  Thanks Hal.  Does that mean they have legal basis to go after anyone with the plant?  Richard seems to indicate otherwise.  If they do it seems like they are completely violating patent law in spirit.


I think what they are doing is never selling the plants to anyone, but retaining ownership of all plants and plant parts except the fruit. They then lease them to growers through very strict licensing agreements that also prohibit unauthorized propagation. Anyone in possession of the plant that did not agree to the license must have a stolen plant, even if there is no longer patent protection. Some of the new grape releases from the Geneva program are using this method. You can read the agreements here, http://www.rakgrape.com/groweragreements.php. 


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