[NAFEX] Propogating Rootstocks

Ginda Fisher list at ginda.us
Sat Jun 6 08:47:07 EDT 2009

Thank you.  Disappointing, but good to know.

I wonder when the patents expire.


On Jun 4, 2009, at 11:58 AM, <dmnorton at royaloakfarmorchard.com> <dmnorton at royaloakfarmorchard.com 
 > wrote:

> In our quest at Royal Oak Farm to propagate our own Geneva  
> rootstocks, I received the following response from Dr. Jim Cummins  
> at Cummins Nursery.  Thought it might be interesting for the list to  
> see what's involved when grafting with patented fruit trees and  
> rootstocks.
> "When we began the rootstock breeding program in 1968, we had  
> anticipated open distribution and free propagation of any material  
> that would come from that program. All of the fruiting varieties  
> coming out of Geneva were "public varieties" and anyone could  
> propagate freely.
> For many years, inventions from Cornell researchers in engineering,  
> chemistry, physics, etc. were patented and exploited by Cornell;  
> pretty important income resulted. "Cornell Research Foundation" was  
> deeded all patentable "intellectual property" produced by Cornell  
> research, and "intellectual property" became the property of CRF. In  
> about 1976, Cornell administration decided that plant material  
> coming from Cornell breeding programs was patentable "intellectual  
> property" and proceeded to bring all Geneva (and Ithaca) output  
> under their control. We breeders opposed this very strongly, but to  
> no avail.
> The Geneva rootstocks became rather a pet project of CRF. The then  
> director of CRF decided (again with our opposition) that Geneva  
> rootstocks would be very tightly held, with propagation restricted  
> to 10 stoolbed operators. Besides 18% royalties, each of these 10  
> licensed nurseries has been paying $1000./year for the privilege  
> (raised to $1500./yr effective 2009).
> Although CRF does permit private propagation of fruiting varieties.  
> CRF does not permit propagation of rootstocks except by these 10  
> licensed nurseries. CRF has 2 lawsuits underway for cases of  
> infringement of patents.
> I wish I could encourage you on this, Dennis, but -- Frankly, it  
> would not be prudent to propagate these Geneva stocks. The CRF  
> administration is itching to litigate. Just isn't worth the risk."
> Jim
> Dennis Norton
> Royal Oak Farm Orchard
> Office (815) 648-4467
> Mobile (815) 228-2174
> Fax (609) 228-2174
> http://www.royaloakfarmorchard.com
> http://www.theorchardkeeper.blogspot.com
> http://www.revivalhymn.com<Dennis M. Norton.vcf>
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