Jul 1, 2020Sun World takes firm stance on IP rights breach
Californian based variety development and licensing company, Sun World International,LLC (Sun World), announced July 1 it has reached settlement of a dispute with a prominent Australian table grape producer (and associated entities) within the Sunraysia region.
According to a news release, this follows breaches of Sun World’s intellectual property and contractual rights discovered during an audit of the grower’s property which uncovered plantings of Sun World’s proprietary varieties beyond those allowed under its license with the grower.
The settlement follows admissions by the grower of having propagated Sun World’s proprietary varieties without authorization and in breach of its growing license with Sun World as well as infringing Sun World’s registered plant breeders rights.
The parties have agreed to settlement terms that include removal of unauthorized vines and payments to Sun World totaling in excess of USD$220,000 (AUD$325,000). In addition to these payments, the grower and associated entities, have committed to further undertakings acknowledging Sun World’s interests.
Commenting on the settlement, Sun World’s Australia Licensing Manager Adam Knoll, said “Whilst pleased with our ability to draw this matter to a successful close without court action, it is unsatisfactory to have a grower acting outside of our licence terms and acting in breach of our plant breeders rights. Our action should also demonstrate to the industry that Sun World is avidly both monitoring the market and enforcing its rights.”
Garth Swinburn, vice president licensing added, “To have to take any enforcement action is disappointing. However, such steps are necessary to protect not only our own business but also to protect other stakeholders’ investments both within Australia, as in this instance, and globally.”
Sun World International is a global variety development and licensing business. Sun World’s mission is to drive growth of fruit breeding, varietal development, and licensing. The California based company has a network of licensed growers and marketers and maintains offices in the United States, Europe, Australia, South America, Israel, North Africa, and South Africa.
Key Sun World varieties are marketed under various grape varietal brands such as Autumncrisp, Midnight Beauty, Sable Seedless, Adora Seedless, Carlotta Seedless, Sophia Seedless and Superior Seedless.
More information about Sun World International is available here.