Spain: 4,000 Euro fine for illegal reproduction of protected blueberry variety

An entity producing blueberry fruits in the province of Huelva has been fined by the Court of Instruction no. 2 of Ayamonte for the unlicensed reproduction and multiplication of Snowchaser blueberries. The ruling states that there is enough evidence of an offense against industrial property, typified in article 274.4 of the Penal Code.

The proceedings were initiated after a complaint filed by Geslive. The company denounced had obtained plant material of unknown origin and had reproduced it illegally until it had a total of 1,475 plants. The ruling, against which no appeal is possible, condemns the entity to pay a 4,128 Euro fine, as well as to destroy all 1,475 plants of the Snowchaser variety, whose intellectual property belongs to the University of Florida and which is licensed to the company Rústicas del Guadalquivir.

The illegal reproduction of plant varieties is actually having a critical impact on the sector, as 53% of the nurseries inspected by the police in 2016 worked with them clandestinely. This massive fraud has serious consequences, not only for breeders of new plant varieties, "which are suffering multimillion-dollar losses every year, but also for the entire sector, as it is an unfair competition for most producers who strive to adhere to the law," explains Geslive.

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